Fish retinas continue to grow throughout life by adding neurons at the margin, with the result that cells born at a peripheral site are steadily displaced toward the center of the enlarging retina. This presents a functional problem for fish with specialized temporal areas such as a fovea--how to reconcile continual growth with the maintenance of a temporal location for the fovea. One possibility is that the retina grows asymmetrically, with most new retina added nasally, relatively little temporally. I have tested this hypothesis by evaluating retinal growth in marine teleosts from 15 families, both foveated and unfoveated. The pattern of growth was revealed by exploiting the fact that each new generation of ganglion cells sends its axons into the optic nerve as a cohort; small grains of the carbocyanine dye 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethyl- indocarbocyanine were applied to various sites in the cross section of the optic nerves of adults, and the retrogradely labeled cell bodies in the retina were visualized in whole-mounts. The labeled cells lay in annuli, each one a generation of ganglion cells. Representatives of seven of the families showed clearly asymmetric growth: the labeled annuli were close together on the temporal side and more distant nasally, the embryonic fissure curved from its ventral origin toward the temporal side, and in six of these families, labeled fibers from temporal retina skirted the fovea. Members of the other eight families, without specialized areas, had more symmetric retinal growth: labeled annuli were equally spaced on all sides, the embryonic fissure was vertical, and there were no skirting fibers. The following hypothesis is supported: the retina grows asymmetrically, and maintains the area for acute vision oriented toward the anterior field.