Cephalochordates are non-vertebrate members of the Phylum Chordata, having diverged from the evolutionary line leading to the vertebrates before the end of the Precambrian. A cephalochordate has no head, a transparent body like a leaf with a notochord running from end to end, and rows of muscle on either side by which to wriggle, swim or bury itself. They are commonly known as lancelets.
Amphioxus Embryonic Development
A fascinating short movie from YouTube showing the early cell divisions in the egg and its subsequent development.
The Amphioxus Song
A song, set to the tune of “It’s a long way to Tipperary”, that explains in verse the evolutionary development of vertebrates.
Amphioxus: A Peaceful Anchovy Fillet to Illuminate Chordate Evolution
Illustrated article on amphioxus, a species which occupies a central place in evolutionary thoughts when considering the origin of vertebrates.
Branchiostoma in coarse sand
Information on several species that live in sand at moderate depths off the coast of Devon, UK, and photographs of the lancelet (Branchiostoma lanceolatum) and the pea urchin (Echinocyamus pusillus).
Introduction to the Cephalochordata
Illustrated description of these primitive chordates, which are small, eel-like, unprepossessing animals that spend much of their time buried in sand.
Photograph of Branchiostoma lanceolatum and information from Wikipedia on the genus, traditionally known as amphioxus, its physical features and taxonomy.
Last update:March 15, 2015 at 23:20:51 UTC