A large phylum of animals that includes the vertebrates together with the sea squirts and lancelets. They are distinguished by the possession of a notochord at some stage during their development.
- The superphylum Deuterostomia contains the diverse phyla Chordata and Echinodermata and the minor phyla Hemichordata and Urochordata.
- The Chordata is the animal phylum with which everyone is most intimately familiar, since it includes humans and other vertebrates.
- Technically an invertebrate, amphioxus is classified in subphylum Protochordata, phylum Chordata.
Modern Latin (plural), from Latin chorda (see chord2), on the pattern of words such as Vertebrata.
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