We report on a new zebrafish T-box-containing gene, tbx16. It encodes a message that is first detected throughout the blastoderm soon after the initiation of zygotic gene expression. Following gastrulation, expression becomes restricted to paraxial mesoderm and later primarily to the developing tail bud. To gain an evolutionary prospective on the potential function of this gene, we have analyzed its phylogenetic relationships to known T-box genes from other species. Zebrafish tbx16 is likely orthologous to the chicken Tbx6L and Xenopus Xombi/Antipodean/Brat/VegT genes. Our analysis also shows that zebrafish tbx6 and mouse Tbx6 genes are paralogous to zebrafish tbx16. We present evidence which argues, that despite the same name and similar expression, zebrafish tbx6 and mouse Tbx6 genes are not orthologous to each other but instead represent relatively distant paralogs. The expression patterns of all genes are discussed in the light of their evolutionary relationships.