What is a Vertebrate? (Characteristics of Chordates (Notochord (A…
What is a Vertebrate?
Characteristics of Chordates
Vertebrates are a subgroup of the phylum Chordate.
Most chordates are vertebrates, and few are invertebrates.
At some point in their lives, chordates will have a notochord, a nerve cord that runs down their back, and slits in their throat area.
, is a flexible rod that supports a Chordate's back.
Some chordates have notochords all their lives, but, with vertebrates, part or all of the notochord is replaced by a backbone.
Nerve Chord in Back
Having a notochord, all chordates also have a nerve cord that runs down their back. the nerve cord connects the brain and the nerves, to send messages.
Slits in Throat Area
At some point in their lives, chordates, have slits in their throats, called pharyngeal slits, or gill slits.
Some Chordates, including fishes keep the slits as part of their gills for their entire life. But with lot a of Vertebrates, the slits will disappear.
Keeping Conditions Stable
The body temperature of the most fishes, amphibians and reptiles is close to the temperature of their environment. In contrast, birds and mammals have a stable body temperature that is often warmer than their environment.
An animal whose body does not produce much internal heat.
Its body heat changes with the temperature of their environment.
Examples of Ectotherms - Fishes, amphibians, and reptiles.
Also known ""cold- blooded""
In contrast to a turtle, a beaver would have the same body temperature whether it is in cool water or on warm land.
An endotherm is an animal whose body regulates its own temperature by controlling the internal heat it produces.
Endotherms also have other adaptations, such as sweat glands, fur or feathers for maintaining body temperatures.
Characteristics of Vertebrates
A vertebrate has a backbone that is a part of an internal skeleton.
A vertebrates spine/ backbone runs down the center of its back.
The backbone is formed by many similar bones called vertebrae. the bones are lined up in a row like beads on a string.
Joints give the vertebrae flexibility.
The backbone of a vertebrae is part of it's endoskeleton.
It protects the internal organs of the body, helps give the body shape, and gives muscles a place to attach.
Unlike an arthropod's skeleton , an endoskeleton does not need to be replaced as the animals grow, because of this vertebrates grow larger than animals with exoskeletons or no skeletons at all.