What makes you a vertebrate?
Animals that have a backbone are called vertebrates. The backbone is is a column of bones that supports the body, and also protects the spinal cord. The back is made up of many separate bones, called vertebrae. The backbone is part of a vertebrate's supportive internal skeleton.
As chordates, vertebrates have the same common features: a notochord, a dorsal hollow nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail. Vertebrates are further differentiated from chordates by their vertebral column, which forms when their notochord develops into the column of bony vertebrae separated by discs.
- Like all chordates, vertebrates have a notochord, a dorsal hollow nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail. What other characteristics do vertebrates have?
- Vertebrates /ˈv?ːrt?br?ts/ comprise all species of animals within the subphylum Vertebrata /-e?/ (chordates with backbones). The vertebrates traditionally include the hagfish, which do not have proper vertebrae due to their loss in evolution, though their closest living relatives, the lampreys, do.
- What do all of the vertebrate species have in common? They all have a skull and backbone with small bones called vertebrae. The bones could be made of cartilage or calcified bone. Many fish have cartilage for their skeletons while mammals and reptiles have harder bones.
The major function of the vertebral column is protection of the spinal cord; it also provides stiffening for the body and attachment for the pectoral and pelvic girdles and many muscles. In humans an additional function is to transmit body weight in walking and standing.
- The skeletal system performs vital functions — support, movement, protection, blood cell production, calcium storage and endocrine regulation — that enable us to survive.
- In concert with each other, the two bones play a vital role in how the forearm rotates. The ulna primarily connects with the humerus at the elbow joint, while the radius primarily junctions with the carpal bones of the hand at the wrist joint.
- The spinal cord carries out two main functions: It connects a large part of the peripheral nervous system to the brain. Information (nerve impulses) reaching the spinal cord through sensory neurons are transmitted up into the brain.
Vertebrates include the jawless fish and the jawed vertebrates, which include the cartilaginous fish (sharks, rays, and ratfish) and the bony fish. A bony fish clade known as the lobe-finned fishes is included with tetrapods, which are further divided into amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds.
- Vertebrates include the jawless fish and the jawed vertebrates, which include the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, rays, and ratfish) and the bony fishes. A bony fish clade known as the lobe-finned fishes is included with tetrapods, which are further divided into amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
- Determining whether a creature is a vertebrate or invertebrate may not be something you do on a daily basis, but it's worth knowing which creatures are which. The major difference is a backbone: invertebrates lack this bone structure. Spiders happen to be invertebrates, with a slew of their arthropod kin.
- Characteristics of the Five Vertebrate Groups
- Fish. The body of the fish is covered in scales and has fins attached to help it move through the water.
- Amphibians. The skin of amphibians is very thin and must always be kept wet because amphibians breathe through their skin.
Updated: 2nd October 2019