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Phylum Chordata: Comparison between Sea Squirts and Sea Otters - Essay Example

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 This is paper to examine the main taxa that are within the Phylum Chordata, which includes the sea squirts and the sea otter; compare their taxonomic classification based on their life history, systematics, and morphology. It analyses Subphylum Cephalochordate, Subphylum Urochordata, Vertebrata…
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Phylum Chordata: Comparison between Sea Squirts and Sea Otters
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"Phylum Chordata: Comparison between Sea Squirts and Sea Otters"

Download file to see previous pages Both the sea squirt and sea otter are classified under Phylum Chordata. They have a number of common characteristics that make them Chordata. The notochord of both animals is present in all embryos and is reduced or present in adults. The phylum is basically named under this structure. They have dorsal, ectodermal and hollow nerve cords which are formed by ectoderm tissue unfolding which are “pinched off” and surrounded by mesoderm. Their spinal bifida is as a result of the nervous system failing to close (Smith, 2005).
They both have pharyngeal splits which originally filters their food. When water enters through the mouth it exits through the pharyngeal splits. These slits filter out food and keep them in the body. A postanal tail is present and extends behind the anus; hence, the anus of these two animals is not the posterior tip. However, these animals do not belong to the same subphylum, and they are subdivided into different subphylum depending on a number of characteristics.
To begin with, the sea squirts are classified under Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata and Subphylum Urochordates or tunicates. They belong to members of invertebrates and are marine animals, that reside on hulls of ships, pier pilings deep rocks and large seashells. They are mainly sessile, and potato-shaped (Smith, 2005).
Some live in colonies while others as individuals. The larva which is the young tunicate takes the shape of a tadpole and can swim using its tail. As time goes by, it finds a place, attaches itself by a sucker at the interior of its end and loses the tail during metamorphoses, into a sedentary adult, but become unable to move. The nervous system disintegrates and as it becomes a full adult, it develops two siphons whereby, water enters from one siphon and exists through the other siphon (Smith, 2005).
Sea squirts have a sac inside their body that traps food from water that passes through gill slits in the pharynx.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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