vertebrate


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vertebrate,

any animal having a backbone or spinal columnspinal column,
bony column forming the main structural support of the skeleton of humans and other vertebrates, also known as the vertebral column or backbone. It consists of segments known as vertebrae linked by intervertebral disks and held together by ligaments.
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. Verbrates can be traced back to the Silurian period. In the adults of nearly all forms the backbone consists of a series of vertebrae. All vertebrates belong to the subphylum Vertebrata of the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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. There are five classes of vertebrates: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. General characteristics of vertebrate animals include their comparatively large size, the high degree of specialization of parts they exhibit, their bilaterally symmetrical structure, and their wide distribution over the earth. In addition to an internal skeleton of bone and cartilage or of cartilage alone, vertebrates have a spinal cord, a brain enclosed in a cranium, a closed circulatory system, and a heart divided into two, three, or four chambers. Most have two pairs of appendages that are variously modified as fins, limbs, or wings in the different classes. All animals without backbones are called invertebratesinvertebrate
, any animal lacking a backbone. The invertebrates include the tunicates and lancelets of phylum Chordata, as well as all animal phyla other than Chordata. The major invertebrate phyla include: the sponges (Porifera), coelenterates (Cnidaria), echinoderms
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; these do not form a homogeneous group as do vertebrates.
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vertebrate

1. any chordate animal of the subphylum Vertebrata, characterized by a bony or cartilaginous skeleton and a well-developed brain: the group contains fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals
2. of, relating to, or belonging to the subphylum Vertebrata
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In vertebrates, 27 key spectral tuning sites have been identified in the protein for rhodopsin.
Ahlberg and colleagues suspect the key jaw elements of bony fish (and all land vertebrates) evolved from those bony blades of placoderms.
Vertebrate extinctions and reorganizations during the Late Silurian Lau Event.
And they believe it is the "missing link" in the development of vertebrates, offering more clues to the evolution of humans.
Percent of captures and relative abundance from a 2010-2011 small vertebrate trapping survey of Lake Laurel, Baldwin Co., Georgia.
In part because these systems can be manipulated by pathogens for immune evasion (Murphy, 1993; Alcami, 2003), vertebrate immune signaling systems evolve quickly, often making the interleukins and other cytokines that mediate these functions difficult to identify even across Class divides.
Outcomes for the new vertebrate dissection laboratory are shown in Figure 1.
Unit 2 has many structures that appear to be vertebrate burrows (Figures 1 and 2).
Critics of Intelligent Design claim that the vertebrate eye shows poor design, compared to the octopus eye, because light in the former must pass through ganglion cells before reaching the photoreceptor cells at the back of the retina, whereas the latter has photoreceptors at the front of the retina, directly in the light path.
Direct methods include quantifying virus salivated into drops of blood, virus detected in vertebrate tissues immediately after mosquito feeding, virus salivated into blood agar, and virus salivated into fluids such as oil.
To keep muscles from ballooning, most vertebrates have a natural brake--a protein called myostatin (MY-uh-STATin).
The world's current acknowledged smallest vertebrate is the dwarf goby fish.