Dictionary > Lancelet

Lancelet

Definition
noun, plural: lancelets
A small fishlike chordate of the taxonomic order Amphoxiformes
Supplement
The lancelets are small fishlike chordates of the order Amphoxiformes. The Amphoxiformes belongs to class Leptocardii of the subphylum Cephalochordata (cephalochordates). The lancelets serve as the modern representatives of this subphylum. Other members of cephalochordates are already extinct. One of the distinctive features of the cephalochordates is the rudimentary condition of the species’ organs. Thus, searching for fossilized specimens of these species is difficult.
The lancelets as a chordate possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, an endostyle, a pharynx, and a post-anal tail. The notochord of lancelets, unlike other chordates, persists till adulthood. Other chordates have a vertebral column that replaces the notochord during embryonic development.
There are about 32 species of lancelets and one of them is Branchiostoma (Amphioxus) lanceolatus, a marine cephalochordate. This species is used as a model organism in various studies such as evolution and taxonomy. Apart from research studies, the lancelets are also used commercially as food for humans and domesticated animals.
Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Cephalochordata (Haeckel, 1866)
  • Class: Leptocardii (Müller, 1845)
  • Order: Amphoxiformes

Other common name(s):

  • amphioxus

See also:


You will also like...

temperature - abiotic factor
Abiotic and Biotic Factors

This tutorial deals with the abiotic factors of the freshwater environment that determine what sort of life would be sui..

Human gastrointestinal tract
Human Biology – Food and Digestion

This tutorial recognizes the importance of food as a source of energy that will fuel many biological processes. A good d..

Physical growth
Physical Development in Humans

This tutorial elaborates on the physical development of humans, particularly from puberty to adulthood. Read this tutori..

Transpiration
Water in Plants

The movement of molecules (specifically, water and solutes) is vital to the understanding of plant processes. This tuto..

Freshwater Ecology
Freshwater Ecology

Freshwater ecology focuses on the relations of aquatic organisms to their freshwater habitats. There are two forms of co..

Ecosystem Succession
Ecosystem Succession

If the balance of nature is left untouched, landscapes can change dramatically over time. A previous ecosystem is supers..