vertebrate

Members of a large group of animals of the subphylum Vertebrata (or Craniata), characterized by having a backbone. Vertebrates are bilaterally symmetrical and have an internal skeleton of bone or cartilage, a nervous system divided into brain and spinal cord, and not more than two pairs of limbs. Vertebrates have a well-developed body cavity (called a coelom) containing a chambered heart, large digestive organs, liver, pancreas, and paired kidneys, and their blood contains both red and white corpuscles. Vertebrates include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Citation: 
vertebrate. (n.d.) The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. (2005). Retrieved August 26 2014 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/vertebrate
English

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