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While cytokinesis has been intensely studied, the way it is executed during development is not well understood, despite a long-standing appreciation that various aspects of cytokinesis vary across cell and tissue types. To address this, we investigated cytokinesis during the invariant embryonic divisions and found several reproducibly altered parameters at different stages. During early divisions, furrow ingression asymmetry and midbody inheritance is consistent, suggesting specific regulation of these events. During morphogenesis, we found several unexpected alterations to cytokinesis including apical midbody migration in polarizing epithelial cells of the gut, pharynx and sensory neurons. Aurora B kinase, which is essential for several aspects of cytokinesis, remains apically localized in each of these tissues after internalization of midbody ring components. Aurora B inactivation disrupts cytokinesis and causes defects in apical structures, even if inactivated post-mitotically. Therefore, cytokinesis is implemented in a specialized way during epithelial polarization and Aurora B has a new role in the formation of the apical surface.