Chapter

<i>Phylum</i> Cephalochordata

Claus Nielsen

in Animal Evolution

Third edition

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606023
Published online December 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191774706 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606023.003.0063
Phylum Cephalochordata

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The Cephalochordata, or lancelets, is comprised of only about thirty species representing two families, making it one of the smallest phyla in the animal kingdom. All cephalochordates are marine, living primarily more or less buried in coarse sand. The whole genome of the most common genus, Branchiostoma, or amphioxus, contains a very complete set of genes, including the chordate Hox genes. The notochord is surrounded by a thick basal membrane, and extends anteriorly beyond the mouth and the ‘dorsal’ nerve tube, and posteriorly to the tip of the tail.

Keywords: cephalochordates; Cephalochordata; lancelets; Branchiostoma; amphioxus; Hox genes; notochord

Chapter.  4614 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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