(Redirected from Chordata)

Chordates, phylum Chordata, are a phylum of animals which have a notochord. The group includes vertebrates, with some closely related invertebrates.

Temporal range: Late Ediacaran – Present
Pristella maxillaris.jpg
A X-ray tetra is one of the few chordates with a visible backbone
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Bateson, 1885
Typical Classes

See below





 Appendicularia (formerly Larvacea)
























Note: Lines show likely evolutionary relationships. Extinct groups are marked with a "†". Extinct animals are ones that have completely died out.

Origin of chordates

According to a long-standing theory, the origin of chordates may be found in transformed larvae of sea-squirts (tunicates). Adult tunicates are sessile, but their larvae are motile, and have some features found in early vertebrates. The process of paedomorphosis, where juvenile features are retained in the adult, is the proposed mechanism.[1][2][3] Genome analysis shows that tunicates are the closest living relatives of vertebrates.[4]

Chordate Media


  1. Garstang, Walter 1894. Preliminary notes on a new theory of the phylogeny of the chordates. Zoologischer Anzeiger 17, p122.
  2. Garstang, Walter 1928. The morphology of the tunicata, and its bearing on the phylogeny of the Chordata. Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science 72, p51.
  3. de Beer, Gavin 1951. Embryos and ancestors. 3rd ed, Oxfor, The evolution of chordates, p76.
  4. Delsuc, Frédéric et al. 2006. Tunicates and not cephalochordates are the closest living relatives of vertebrates. Nature 439, 965-968

Other websites