Difference Between Chordates and Non-chordates

Chordates and Non-chordates are primarily differentiated by the presence or absence of an important structure called the notochord at some point in their lifecycle. However, there are many more differences that separate these two groups of organisms. Read on to learn the difference between chordates and non-chordates.

Difference Between Non-chordates and Chordates
Chordates
Non-chordates
Notochord
Present (at least in one stage in their lifecycle) Absent. Non-chordates do not have a
Cold Blooded/Warm Blooded
Chordates can either be cold-blooded or warm-blooded All non-chordates are cold-blooded
Mode of Respiration
Respiration occurs either through lungs or gills Non-chordates respire through tracheae, gills or body surface
Presence of Haemoglobin
Present Absent. Hemolymph is present, which is analogous to blood in the vertebrates
Germ Layer
Chordates are triploblastic Non-chordates can either be triploblastic, diploblastic, or neither
Symmetry
Chordates are bilaterally symmetric Non-chordates can either be bilateral, radial, bi-radial, or asymmetrical.
Coelom
True coelomates Can be either true coelomates, acoelomates, pseudocoelomates.
Tail (post-anal)
Usually present Absent
Exoskeleton
Present in some animals, such as tortoises. Present
Endoskeleton
Present Absent
Regeneration
Mostly poor Mostly good
Nerve Chord
Dorsal, single, without ganglia Ventral, double, usually bears ganglia
Blood Circulation
Closed Usually open circulation
Anus
It is differentiated and opens before the last segment Usually absent. If present, it opens on the last segment
Brain
Present, dorsal to pharynx in head Present in some cases, but nowhere as complex as the brain in chordates.
Organization
Organ-system Protoplasmic to organ-system
Heart
Ventrally placed Absent. Dorsal/ lateral placement if present
Example
Mammals Arthropods

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Frequently Asked Questions on Chordates and Non-chordates

How are chordates different from non-chordates?

Chordates and Non-chordates are primarily differentiated by the presence or absence of an important structure called the notochord.

Are any invertebrates present in chordates?

Some invertebrates are classified as chordates as they have a notochord, though they lack a proper backbone. Invertebrates that are considered chordates are tunicates and lancelets.

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2 Comments

  1. You always show me how we are starting the question which is very important 👌

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