“All vertebrates are chordates but all chordates are not vertebrates”. Justify the statement.
Chordates are the animals that possess notochord (a stiff, supporting rod like structure present on the dorsal side) at some stage of their lives. Phylum Chordata is divided into three Subphyla: Urochordata or tunicata, Cephalochordata and Vertebrata. Subphyla Urochordata and Cephalochordata are often referred to as protochordates and are exclusively marine. In urochordata, notochord is present only in tail of larva and disappears in adults, while in cephalochordata, it extends from head to tail region and persists throughout the life.
The members of Subphylum Vertebrata a possess notochord during the embryonic period and is replaced by a cartilaginous or bony vertebral column in the adult. Thus all vertebrates are chordates but all chordates are not vertebrates.
The characteristic features of the phylum, Chordata, include the presence of a notochord and paired pharyngeal gill slits. In sub-phylum Vertebrata, the notochord present in embryos gets replaced by a cartilaginous or bony vertebral column in adults. Thus, it can be said that all vertebrates are chordates but all chordates are not vertebrates.
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- Classification of Animals - Phylum – Chordata