chordate


chor·date

noun \ˈkr-ˌdāt, -dət\

Definition of CHORDATE

:  any of a phylum (Chordata) of animals having at least at some stage of development a notochord, dorsally situated central nervous system, and gill clefts and including the vertebrates, lancelets, and tunicates
chordate adjective

Origin of CHORDATE

ultimately from Latin chorda cord
First Known Use: 1897

Rhymes with CHORDATE

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chordate

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any member of the phylum Chordata, which includes the most highly evolved animals, the vertebrates, as well as the marine invertebrate cephalochordates (see amphioxus) and tunicates. All chordates, at some time in their life cycle, possess a dorsal supporting rod (notochord), gill slits, and a dorsal nerve cord. Unlike vertebrates, tunicates and cephalochordates lack any kind of brain or skeleton. Chordate bodies consist of a body wall encasing a gut, with a space between called the coelom. The body is usually long and bilaterally symmetrical, with the mouth and sense organs at the front end.

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