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Question 9

“All vertebrates are chordates but all chordates are not vertebrates”. Justify the statement.

Answer

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. But in cephelochordates, notochord persists throughout life as such and in urochordates, notochord is present only in larval stages and absent in adults. Thus, it can be said that all vertebrates are chordates but all chordates are not vertebrates.

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