• List the major characteristics of chordates.
• Describe the evolution and classification of invertebrate chordates.
• Describe the structure of lancelets.
• Describe the structure of tunicates.
Invertebrate Chordates e phylum Chordata (kawr-DAY-tuh) includes all of the vertebrates, or animals with backbones. It also includes two groups of invertebrates—animals that lack backbones.
All chordates have a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal pouches, and a postanal tail during at least some stage of their life.
Dorsal nerve cord
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