Chordates (L110)

What is a chordate? How are vertebrates different from chordates?

Chordates are animals that possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal clefts and a muscular tale (for at least some portion of their life cycle). A unique aspect of chordates is that they’re the only animals whom possess a hollow dorsal nerve cord; other animals will have a solid dorsal cord, if any. Most non chordate animals have a ventral nerve cord. Chordates belong to the kingdom animalia, and the phylum chordata.
Vertebrates belong to a subphylum of chordate animals, and represent the majority of the phylum chordata. Vertebrates are characterized by having an extensive skull as well as a backbone composed of vertebrae. They also have homeotic genes (hox genes) that serve as a blueprint for each pody part’s position and shape. All vertebrates are craniats, and all craniates are chordates (in the phylum chordata). Therefore, all chordates are animals, as are vertebrates.

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