Dictionary > Tunicate

Tunicate

Definition
noun, plural: tunicates
Any of the sessile marine chordates of the subphylum Tunicata
Supplement
Chordates are primarily characterized by having a notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, muscular post anal tail, and pharyngeal slits for at least some period of the life cycle of an animal. The phylum Chordata has three subphyla: Vertebrata (vertebrates), Tunicata (tunicates), and Cephalochordata (cephalochordates).
Tunicata (formerly Urochordata) is a subphylum of the animal kingdom, intermediate, in some respects, between the invertebrates and vertebrates, and by some writers united with the latter. They were formerly classed with acephalous mollusks. The body is usually covered with a firm external tunic, consisting in part of cellulose, and having two openings, one for the entrance and one for the exit of water. The pharynx is usually dilated in the form of a sac, pierced by several series of ciliated slits, and serves as a gill.
Most of the species when mature are firmly attached to foreign substances, but have free-swimming larvae which are furnished with an elongated tail and somewhat resemble a tadpole. In this state the larva has a urochord and certain other structures resembling some embryonic vertebrates.
Word origin: Latin tunicatus, past participle of tunicare ‎(“to clothe with a tunic”)
Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Tunicata (Lamarck, 1816)

See also:

  • chordate
  • ascidian
  • doliolum
  • salpa

You will also like...

Birth Control and Contraception
Birth Control and Contraception

Different pregnancy and birth control and contraception strategies are described. Read this tutorial to learn each of th..

Consciousness and behavior
Consciousness and Behavior

Human consciousness and behavior are an interesting topic since they are determined and controlled by the brain. Conscio..

Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..

Endemic Flora of New Zealand
New Zealand’s Unique Flora

If New Zealand has lots of unique animals, it's also got a whole lot of unique plants. Find out more about some of them,..

Flowers and tiny fruits of the pomegranate plant
Fruits, Flowers, and Seeds

This tutorial deals with the structure and function of flowers, fruits, and seeds. Also included here are the types of f..

DNA molecule
Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics