ceph·​a·​lo·​chor·​date ˌse-fə-lō-ˈkȯr-ˌdāt How to pronounce cephalochordate (audio)
plural cephalochordates
: an animal of the subphylum Cephalochordata : lancelet
Although cephalochordates had achieved the primary characters of chordates—notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, and pharyngeal gill slits—as well as a postanal tail and segmental muscles throughout the trunk and tail, they lack many other features that characterize vertebrates.Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, 1997
cephalochordate adjective

Word History

First Known Use

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cephalochordate was in 1904

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Cite this Entry

“Cephalochordate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cephalochordate. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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