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Chordata
A chordate () is an animal of the phylum Chordata (). All chordates possess, at some point during their larval or adult stages, five synapomorphies, or primary physical characteristics, that distinguish them from all the other taxa. These five synapomorphies include a notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, endostyle or thyroid, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail. The name “chordate” comes from the first of these synapomorphies, the notochord, which plays a significant role in chordate structure and movement. Chordates are also bilaterally symmetric, have a coelom, possess a circulatory system, and exhibit metameric segmentation. In addition to the morphological characteristics used to define chordates, analysis of genome sequences has identified two conserved signature indels (CSIs) in their proteins: cyclophilin-like protein and mitochondrial inner membrane protease ATP23, which are exclusively shared by all vertebrates, tunicates and cephalochordates. These CSIs pr ...
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Chordate
A chordate () is an animal of the phylum Chordata (). All chordates possess, at some point during their larval or adult stages, five synapomorphies, or primary physical characteristics, that distinguish them from all the other taxa. These five synapomorphies include a notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, endostyle or thyroid, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail. The name “chordate” comes from the first of these synapomorphies, the notochord, which plays a significant role in chordate structure and movement. Chordates are also bilaterally symmetric, have a coelom, possess a circulatory system, and exhibit metameric segmentation. In addition to the morphological characteristics used to define chordates, analysis of genome sequences has identified two conserved signature indels (CSIs) in their proteins: cyclophilin-like protein and mitochondrial inner membrane protease ATP23, which are exclusively shared by all vertebrates, tunicates and cephalochordates. These CSIs pro ...
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Vertebrate
Vertebrates () comprise all animal taxon, taxa within the subphylum Vertebrata () (chordates with vertebral column, backbones), including all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Vertebrates represent the overwhelming majority of the phylum Chordata, with currently about 69,963 species described. Vertebrates comprise such groups as the following: * Agnatha, jawless fish, which include hagfish and lampreys * Gnathostomata, jawed vertebrates, which include: ** Chondrichthyes, cartilaginous fish (sharks, Batoidea, rays, and Chimaeriformes, ratfish) ** Euteleostomi, bony vertebrates, which include: *** Actinopterygii, ray-fins (the majority of living Osteichthyes, bony fish) *** lobe-fins, which include: **** coelacanths and lungfish **** tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) Extant taxon, Extant vertebrates range in size from the frog species ''Paedophryne amauensis'', at as little as , to the blue whale, at up to . Vertebrates make up less than five percent of all described a ...
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Vertebrate
Vertebrates () comprise all animal taxon, taxa within the subphylum Vertebrata () (chordates with vertebral column, backbones), including all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Vertebrates represent the overwhelming majority of the phylum Chordata, with currently about 69,963 species described. Vertebrates comprise such groups as the following: * Agnatha, jawless fish, which include hagfish and lampreys * Gnathostomata, jawed vertebrates, which include: ** Chondrichthyes, cartilaginous fish (sharks, Batoidea, rays, and Chimaeriformes, ratfish) ** Euteleostomi, bony vertebrates, which include: *** Actinopterygii, ray-fins (the majority of living Osteichthyes, bony fish) *** lobe-fins, which include: **** coelacanths and lungfish **** tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) Extant taxon, Extant vertebrates range in size from the frog species ''Paedophryne amauensis'', at as little as , to the blue whale, at up to . Vertebrates make up less than five percent of all described a ...
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Olfactores
Olfactores is a clade within the Chordata that comprises the Tunicata ( Urochordata) and the Vertebrata (sometimes referred to as Craniata). Olfactores represent the overwhelming majority of the phylum Chordata, as the Cephalochordata are the only chordates not included in the clade. This clade is defined by a more advanced olfactory system which, in the immediate vertebrate generation, caused the appearance of nostrils. A rudimentary neural crest is present in tunicates, implying its presence in the olfactores ancestor also, as vertebrates have a true neural crest. For this reason, they are also known as Cristozoa. Olfactores hypothesis While the hypothesis that Cephalochordata is a sister taxon to Craniata is of long standing and was once widely accepted—likely influenced by significant tunicate morphological apomorphies from other chordates, with cephalochordates even being nicknamed ‘honorary vertebrates’—studies since 2006 analyzing large sequencing datasets st ...
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Animal
Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and go through an ontogenetic stage in which their body consists of a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from to . They have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The scientific study of animals is known as zoology. Most living animal species are in Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan. The Bilateria include the protostomes, containing animals such as nematodes, arthropods, flatworms, annelids and molluscs, and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms ...
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Tunicate
A tunicate is a marine invertebrate animal, a member of the subphylum Tunicata (). It is part of the Chordata, a phylum which includes all animals with dorsal nerve cords and notochords (including vertebrates). The subphylum was at one time called Urochordata, and the term urochordates is still sometimes used for these animals. They are the only chordates that have lost their myomeric segmentation, with the possible exception of the 'seriation of the gill slits'. Some tunicates live as solitary individuals, but others replicate by budding and become colonies, each unit being known as a zooid. They are marine filter feeders with a water-filled, sac-like body structure and two tubular openings, known as siphons, through which they draw in and expel water. During their respiration and feeding, they take in water through the incurrent (or inhalant) siphon and expel the filtered water through the excurrent (or exhalant) siphon. Most adult tunicates are sessile, immobile and perman ...
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Cephalochordate
A cephalochordate (from Greek: κεφαλή ''kephalé'', "head" and χορδή ''khordé'', "chord") is an animal in the chordate subphylum, Cephalochordata. They are commonly called lancelets. Cephalochordates possess 5 synapomorphies, or primary characteristics, that all chordates have at some point during their larval or adulthood stages. These 5 synapomorphies include a notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, endostyle, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail (see chordate for descriptions of each). The fine structure of the cephalochordate notochord is best known for the Bahamas lancelet, ''Asymmetron lucayanum''. Cephalochordates are represented in modern oceans by the Amphioxiformes and are commonly found in warm temperate and tropical seas worldwide. With the presence of a notochord, adult amphioxus are able to swim and tolerate the tides of coastal environments, but they are most likely to be found within the sediment of these communities. Cephalochordates are segmented m ...
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Metaspriggiidae
''Metaspriggina'' is a genus of chordate initially known from two specimens in the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale and 44 specimens found in 2012 at the Marble Canyon bed in Kootenay National Park. Whilst named after the Ediacaran organism ''Spriggina'', later work has shown the two to be unrelated. ''Metaspriggina'' is considered to represent a primitive chordate, possibly transitional between cephalochordates and the earliest vertebrates, albeit this has been questioned because it seems to possess most of the characteristics attributed to craniates. It lacked fins and it had a weakly developed cranium, but it did possess two well-developed upward-facing eyes with nostrils behind them. ''Metaspriggina'' also possessed a notochord, along with seven pairs of pharyngeal bars, possibly made of cartilage. Surprisingly they were not formed from a singular bone, but they were formed of multiple separate pairs of bones, along with first two of them that were enlarged compared to t ...
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Zhongxiniscus
''Zhongxiniscus'' is a genus of primitive chordate from eastern Yunnan that lived during the Early Cambrian. Known from a single specimen, it had a small, broad and short, fish-like body that was roughly ten millimeters in length. It possessed S-shaped myomeres, numbering roughly seven per one millimeter of length. Two triangular fins are evident on the dorsal margin. Evolutionary relationships When compared to other Cambrian chordates like the possible cephalochordate '' Cathaymyrus'' and the two known vertebrates '' Haikouichthys'' and '' Myllokunmingia'', ''Zhongxiniscus'' resembles ''Cathaymyrus'' in having S-shaped myomeres, but is different in having a dorsal fin and a shorter body. ''Zhongxiniscus'' approaches in form to '' Haikouichthys'' and '' Myllokunmingia'' in its myomeres and its dorsal fin, but differs from the latter two having zigzag myomeres and fin rays, which ''Zhongxiniscus'' evidently lacks. For these reasons, ''Zhongxiniscus'' is tentatively considered to b ...
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Phylum
In biology, a phylum (; plural: phyla) is a level of classification or taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class. Traditionally, in botany the term division has been used instead of phylum, although the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants accepts the terms as equivalent. Depending on definitions, the animal kingdom Animalia contains about 31 phyla, the plant kingdom Plantae contains about 14 phyla, and the fungus kingdom Fungi contains about 8 phyla. Current research in phylogenetics is uncovering the relationships between phyla, which are contained in larger clades, like Ecdysozoa and Embryophyta. General description The term phylum was coined in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel from the Greek (, "race, stock"), related to (, "tribe, clan"). Haeckel noted that species constantly evolved into new species that seemed to retain few consistent features among themselves and therefore few features that distinguished them as a group ("a self-contained unity ...
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Metameric
In biology, metamerism is the phenomenon of having a linear series of body segments fundamentally similar in structure, though not all such structures are entirely alike in any single life form because some of them perform special functions. In animals, metameric segments are referred to as somites or metameres. In plants, they are referred to as metamers or, more concretely, phytomers. In animals In animals, zoologists define metamery as a mesodermal event resulting in serial repetition of unit subdivisions of ectoderm and mesoderm products. Endoderm is not involved in metamery. Segmentation is not the same concept as metamerism: segmentation can be confined only to ectodermally derived tissue, e.g., in the Cestoda tapeworms. Metamerism is far more important biologically since it results in metameres - also called somites - that play a critical role in advanced locomotion. One can divide metamerism into two main categories: * homonomous metamery is a strict serial succes ...
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Polycarpa Aurata
''Polycarpa aurata'', also known as the ox heart ascidian, the gold-mouth sea squirt or the ink-spot sea squirt, is a species of tunicate in the family Styelidae. Description ''Polycarpa aurata'' grows to a height of . It has an urn-shaped, hollow body with two siphons, one at the top and the other on the side. The body colour of this tunicate is white with purple and orange patches and purple lines. The inside is yellow or orange and this is visible around the rim of the siphons. Distribution This species is found in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. Its range includes the Philippines, Indonesia and northern Australia. Its depth range is . Biology Tunicates feed by drawing water in through the branchial siphon at the top, filtering out phytoplankton, bacteria and other food particles, before expelling the water through the atrial siphon at the side. Sometimes hydroids and algae grow on the outside of the tunicate and nudibranch Nudibranch ...
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