A cartilaginous skeletal rod supporting the body in all embryonic and some adult chordate animals.
- In those chordates which lack bone, muscles work against the notochord to move the animal.
- In the evolution of vertebrates, long bodies with continuously flexible notochords and segmental muscles existed before the appearance of segmental vertebrae.
- They all have, at some embryonic stage, a notochord, flanked by muscle, and a dorsal neural tube.
Mid 19th century: from Greek nōton 'back' + chord2.
For editors and proofreaders
Definition of notochord in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.