An ultrastructural examination of the outer retina and choroid of hatchling chicks reared for periods of 1, 2 or 4 weeks with opaque occluders (MD) covering one eye, was instigated to elucidate the mechanism of deprivation myopia. Refractive myopia (approximately 20 D), retinal and choroidal thinning were induced in all deprived eyes. Electron microscopy showed significant changes in the MD eyes compared to normals. Cone inner segments were markedly thicker and outer segment lamellae more damaged. The rod outer segments were elongated and thicker than normal, such that their distal tips either directly apposed the basal lamina of the retinal pigment epithelium, or indented the cell nuclei. We hypothesize that this "rod-push" mechanism leads to thinning of the choroid in deprived eyes, and may directly contribute to axial myopia.