An elastic cartilagelike rod which is developed beneath the medullary groove in the vertebrate embryo, and constitutes the primitive axial skeleton around which the centra of the vertebræ and the posterior part of the base of the skull are developed; the chorda dorsalis. See Illust. of Ectoderm.
- A flexible rodlike structure that forms the main support of the body in the lowest chordates, such as the lancelet; a primitive backbone.
- A similar structure in embryos of higher vertebrates, from which the spinal column develops.
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