chordate


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to chordate: Deuterostome

chordate

any animal of the phylum Chordata, including the vertebrates and protochordates, characterized by a notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord, and pharyngeal gill slits
References in periodicals archive ?
Humans are part of a group of animals called chordates, whose defining feature is a rod of cartilage that runs lengthwise along the middle of their body, under their spinal chord.
Another characteristic of chordates are myomeres, blocks of muscle tissue often arranged in a zig-zag pattern.
The draft genome of Ciona intestinalis: insights into chordate and vertebrate origins.
In the case of amphibian phylogeny, this may be reflected by the rearrangement of cellular organization toward tridermic organisms and within this process the evolution of early chordate life forms.
Though its body is clearly more primitive than creatures with backbones and spinal columns, the sea squirt nevertheless offers a valuable resource to scientists seeking to understand the evolutionary links between these simple chordates and more complex creatures.
And as its genome sequence verifies, this makes the sea urchin and other echinoderms more closely related to humans and other chordates than to other invertebrates such as insects, mollusks, and crustaceans (Pennisi, 2006).
For example, the sea squirt has the beginnings of a spinal cord, making it a so-called chordate.
Among the tens of thousands of animals round in these two deposits, paleontologists had previously pulled up two slender creatures that fit into the chordate phylum--the broad category that includes vertebrates.
It may be the oldest known chordate, the phylum to which humans and all other vertebrates belong.
Paleontologists debated whether this conodont animal was a true vertebrate or an invertebrate chordate similar to amphioxus.
Even our own chordate ancestors got their start during this long-past era.
As a result, "I think the status of amphioxus as an archetypal primitive chordate [an animal possessing a primitive spinal cord and neural tube at some point during its development] will be more accepted," he adds.