Chordata:  Tunicate Larva

Purpose:  The purpose of this lab is to introduce the student to the larval form of a sea squirt, an invertebrate belonging to the phylum Chordata.

Materials and Methods:  This lab requires microscope slides of tunicate larvae, microscopes, and lens paper.

Experiment:  Examine a slide of the tunicate larva under low power.   Your task is to identify features of this larva that place it in the phylum Chordata.  Chordate structures that you must observe are gill slits, dorsal hollow nerve chord, and the notochord.

Conclusion:  (Please use your text or the internet as a resource for the questions below.)

Which Chordate structures are lost when the larval tunicate develops into the adult form?

What is a notochord?

Identify another invertebrate chordate other than the hagfish?  

One kind of fish, the hagfish, is considered an invertebrate by scientists.  Why is this fish an invertebrate whereas all other fish are vertebrates?

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