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Lancelets: Cephalochordata

Lancelets And Vertebrates

Scientists consider lancelets the closest living relatives to vertebrates (VER-teh-brehts), or animals with a backbone. The two groups share traits such as the organization of the main body muscles into separate segments and the organization of the blood vessels. Lancelets also have a structure that is a simple form of the liver of vertebrates. The nerve cord of lancelets has a central canal that is enlarged at the head end, making it similar to parts of the vertebrate brain.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple AnimalsLancelets: Cephalochordata - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Lancelets And Vertebrates, Florida Lancelet (branchiostoma Floridae): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS