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- an animal of a large group distinguished by the possession of a backbone or spinal column, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. Compare with invertebrate.
- Subphylum Vertebrata, phylum Chordata: seven classes
early 19th century: from Latin vertebratus 'jointed', from vertebra (see vertebra)
Spell vertebrate with -teb- in the middle.