The distribution of Met-enkephalin (ENK), substance P (SP) and serotonin (5-HT) differs between the core and shell regions of the mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei of the turtle [Belekhova et al., 2002]. These neurochemical distinctions are also found in other tetrapods (mammals, birds and amphibians). The distribution of ENK, SP and 5-HT was examined in the core and shell regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, and in the telencephalic auditory areas of Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata) and mice (Mus musculus), as well as in corresponding auditory areas in toads (Bufo bufo). ENK, SP and 5-HT immunoreactive fibers and perikarya were largely absent from the core regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, in comparison with the shell regions of mice and Bengalese finches. In the toad, however, this pattern was observed in the mesencephalic auditory nucleus, but not in the diencephalic auditory areas. ENK and SP immunoreactive perikarya were detected in the telencephalic auditory area of mice, whereas no ENK, SP or 5-HT immunolabeling was observed in the telencephalic auditory area (Field L) of Bengalese finches. These findings are discussed in terms of the evolution of the core-and-shell organization of auditory nuclei of tetrapods.