Humans, cats, frogs, birds and fish are all members of the Phylum Chordata. The Phylum Chordata is a classification of living creatures characterized by the presence of a notochord, a section of nerves running down the back of the organism.
Phylum Chordata encompasses a large group of various species that are broken down into subphylum. Though each subphylum differs significantly, they all share the similarity of having a spinal cord and accompanying evolutionary features that allow for a higher brain function. The name Chordata is derived specifically from the notochord, which houses all of the important nerves that connect the brain to the rest of the body. Mammals, such as humans and cats, have a skeletal structure that hinges around the presence of the notochord. Fish and birds have a similar skeletal structure with the backbone playing a major role in the development and abilities of the organism.
Other distinguishing characteristics of the Phylum Chordata are the pharangeal slits, which are openings near the head of the organism. In the earliest forms of chordates, these were used for feeding or filtering water. They can be seen in fish in the form of gills and in humans and birds in the form of ears.Learn More
According to Encyclopædia Britannica, flatworms are mostly parasitic, soft-bodied invertebrates that include tape worms, flukes and planarians. Lacking circulatory, respiratory and skeletal systems, flatworms feature unsegmented bodies and spongy connective tissue that provide structure and fill the spaces between organs.Full Answer >
More than 15,000 species of annelids exist, including earthworms, leeches and polychaetes, which include fireworms, clam worms, lugworms and bristleworms. Earthworms are probably the most commonly known type of annelids; there are more than 2,700 species of earthworms, with the longest species capable of growing up to 22 feet long.Full Answer >
The three subphylums in Chordata are Vertebrata, Urochordata and Cephalochordata. Vertebrata is the largest group, including such familiar animals as fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Urochordata contains about 4,600 to 5,100 species total, and Cephalochordata contains only 28.Full Answer >
One common characteristic of members of the phylum chordata is the notochord. The notochord is a rod made of cartilage that supports the nerve chord and runs beneath it.Full Answer >