A large phylum of animals that includes the vertebrates together with the sea squirts and lancelets. They are distinguished by the possession of a notochord at some stage during their development.
- ‘The superphylum Deuterostomia contains the diverse phyla Chordata and Echinodermata and the minor phyla Hemichordata and Urochordata.’
- ‘The Chordata is the animal phylum with which everyone is most intimately familiar, since it includes humans and other vertebrates.’
- ‘Technically an invertebrate, amphioxus is classified in subphylum Protochordata, phylum Chordata.’
- ‘Vertebrates are members of the larger phylum Chordata, and show all of the major chordate features at some point in their life cycles: notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail.’
- ‘The phylum Chordata comprises three subphyla - the vertebrates, the cephalochordates, such as amphioxus, and the urochordates, such as the ascidians.’
Modern Latin (plural), from Latin chorda (see chord), on the pattern of words such as Vertebrata.