Definitions for lanceletˈlæns lɪt, ˈlɑns-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word lancelet
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
lance•letˈlæns lɪt, ˈlɑns-(n.)
any small, lancet-shaped burrowing marine animal of the subphylum Cephalochordata, having a notochord and numerous gill slits.
Ref: Also called amphioxus.
Origin of lancelet:
small translucent lancet-shaped burrowing marine animal; primitive forerunner of the vertebrates
any of a group of primitive marine animals, of subphylum Cephalochordata, having a notochord instead of a backbone
a small fishlike animal (Amphioxus lanceolatus), remarkable for the rudimentary condition of its organs. It is the type of the class Leptocardia. See Amphioxus, Leptocardia
The lancelets, also known as amphioxus, comprise some twenty-two species of fish-like marine chordates with a global distribution in shallow temperate and tropical seas, usually found half-buried in sand. They are the modern representatives of the subphylum Cephalochordata, formerly thought to be the sister group of the craniates. In Asia, they are harvested commercially as food for humans and domesticated animals. They are an important object of study in zoology as they provide indications about the origins of the vertebrates. Lancelets serve as an intriguing comparison point for tracing how vertebrates have evolved and adapted. Although lancelets split from vertebrates more than 520 million years ago, their genomes hold clues about evolution, particularly how vertebrates have employed old genes for new functions. They are regarded as similar to the archetypal vertebrate form. The Amphioxiformes are often called "amphioxus". Amphioxus is an obsolete synonym of the genus Branchiostoma. It is used as a common name alongside with "lancelet", especially in the Anglo-Saxon language. The genome of the Florida lancelet has been sequenced.
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