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Designed and presented by: Eric Steckler
Chordata , phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals. The four features unique to chordates and found in all of them at least during early development are: the notochord, composed of gelatinous tissue and bound by a tough membrane; a tubular nerve cord (or spinal cord), located above the notochord; and gill slits leading into the pharynx, or anterior part of the digestive tract (the throat, in higher vertebrates). All have a post anal tail, that is, an extension beyond the anus of the notochord or backbone and of the body-wall musculature, containing no internal organs. In addition, all have blood contained in vessels, and the tunicates and vertebrates have a ventrally located heart.
Different kinds of Chordates
Sea Stars (echinodermata) Hagfish (myxini) Humans (mammalia) Frogs (amphibia) Snakes (reptilia)
Some basic Characteristics
Notochord / Spinal Chord Dorsal Pharyngeal Clefts Post anal tail All chordates possess these characteristics at one point in their life or early developmental stages.
All chordates share four basic features.(as stated before)
1)Notochord 2)Dorsal nerve cord 3)Pharyngeal slits 4)Post-anal tail
Notochord- a longitudinal, flexible rod located between the digestive tube and the nerve cord. It is made up of large, fluidfilled cells encased in fairly stiff, fibrous tissue. The notochord provides skeletal support, and in most adults it is very useful for muscle support used during swimming.
Dorsal nerve cord- develops from a plate of ectoderm
that rolls into a tube located dorsal to the notochord. This cord is unique to chordates. Other phyla have a solid nerve cord. Chordate's nerve cord develop into the brain and central nervous system when they are still in the embryo stage.
Pharyngeal slits/ clefts-These allow water entering
the mouth to exit the body without passing through the entire digestive tract. In many vertebrates these slits and the structures that support them have been modified for gas exchange and are known as gill slits.
Post anal tail- Chordates have a tail extending posterior
to the anus. In most species it is lost in embryonic development. In many aquatic species it is used in propulsion when swimming.
The Brain During Development
The nervous system develops from embryonic tissue called the ectoderm. The first sign of the developing nervous system is the neural plate that can be seen at about the 16th day of development. Over the next few days, a "trench" is formed in the neural plate - this creates a neural groove. By the 21st day of development, a neural tube is formed when the edges of the neural groove meet. The rostral (front) part of the neural tubes goes on to develop into the brain and the rest of the neural tube develops into the spinal cord. Neural crest cells become the peripheral nervous system. At the front end of the neural tube, three major brain areas are formed: the forebrain, midbrain and hind brain. By the 7th week of development, these three areas divide again. This process is called encephalization. (encep- phali- zation)
fertilized in the upper part of the tube, it slowly passes down, undergoing segmentation, and reaches the uterus.
First Week.—During this period the ovum is in the uterine tube. Having been
Third Week.—By the end of the third week the embryo is strongly curved, and the
primitive segments number about thirty. The primary divisions of the brain are visible, and the optic and auditory vesicles are formed
Seventh and Eighth Weeks.—The flexure of the head is gradually reduced
and the neck is somewhat lengthened. The upper lip is completed and the nose is more prominent. The nostrils are directed forward and the palate is not completely developed. The eyelids are present in the shape of folds above and below the eye, and the different parts of the auricula are distinguishable.
Fifth Month. —It is during this month that the first movements of the fetus are
usually observed. The eruption of hair on the head commences, and the vernix caseosa begins to be deposited. By the end of this month the total length of the fetus, including the legs, is from 25 to 27 cm.
Ninth Month.—The lanugo has largely disappeared from the trunk. The umbilicus is almost in the middle of the body and the testes are in the scrotum. At full time the fetus weighs from six and one-half to eight pounds, and measures from head to heels about 50 cm.
Question 1. what is the name of the phylum?
Question 2. What do all Chordates have or have had in order to be classified as part of the phylum “chordata?”
Answer: They all have or have had the following: 1)Notochord 3)Dorsal nerve cord 4)Pharyngeal slits 5)Post-anal tail
Question 3. During which weeks do the eyelids become present in normal embryonic development of the human embryo?
Answer: Seventh and Eighth Weeks