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Taxon level Division/Phylum
Taxon name Chordata
Closely related taxa Hemichordata, Echinodermata, Xenoturbellida Wikipedia
Taxon details The phylum Chordata consists of three subphyla: Urochordata, represented by tunicates; Cephalochordata, represented by lancelets; and Craniata, which includes Vertebrata. Chordates are monophyletic, meaning that Chordata contains all and only the descendants of a single common ancestor which is itself a chordate, and that craniates' nearest relatives are cephalochordates.

The Chordates arose from a more general superphylum Deuterostomia, which consists of Chordata, Hemichordata,Echinodermata and Xenoturbellida. The Deuterostomes split from Protostomes ~550 mya in the Cambrian era. It is supposed that Chordates arose in the Mid-Cambrian period, however there is controversy regarding that. The controversy arises mainly due to the fact that fossils of early chordates are very rare.

Wikipedia article Origins section
Taxon morphology details Chordates form a phylum of creatures that are based on a bilateral body plan, and is defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following: 1) A notochord, 2) A dorsal neural tube 3) Pharyngeal slits 4) A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus and 5) An endostyle Wikipedia
Species belonging to this taxon Acinonyx jubatus (Cheetah), Ailurus fulgens (Red Panda), Antilope cervicapra (Blackbuck), Arctictis binturong (Binturong, Asian Bearcat,Palawan Bearcat), Arctogalidia trivirgata (Small-toother palm civit), Axis axis (Chital, Cheetal, Chital stag,Spotted deer,Axis deer), Axis porcinus (Hog Deer), Balaena mysticetus (Bowhead whale, Greenland right whale, Arctic whale), Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Northern minke whale, Common minke whale), Balaenoptera borealis (Sei whale), Balaenoptera edeni (Bryde's whale), Balaenoptera musculus (Blue whale), Balaenoptera physalus (Finback whale, Fin whale, Razorback, Common rorqual), Bos frontalis (Gaur, Indian bison), Bos grunniens (Yak,Grunting ox), Boselaphus tragocamelus (Nilgai,Blue bull), Bubalis bubalis (Water buffalo,Wild Asian buffalo,Wild Asiatic buffalo), Budorcas taxicolor (Takin), Canis aureus (Golden Jackal), Canis lupus (Gray Wolf), Capra falconeri (Markhor), Capra sibirica (Siberian Ibex), Caprolagus hispidus (Hispid Hare, Bristly Rabbit, Assam Rabbit), Caracal caracal (Caracal, Persian Cat), Catopuma temminckii (Asian Golden Cat, Temminck's Golden Cat), Cervus elaphus (Kashmir Stag, Hangul, Red Deer), Cervus eldi (Eld's Deer, Thamin, Brow-antlered Deer), Cervus unicolor (Sambar), Crocidura andamanensis (Andaman shrew), Crocidura attenuata (Asian grey shrew), Crocidura fuliginosa (Southeast Asian Shrew), Crocidura hispida (Andaman spiny shrew), Crocidura jenkinsi (Jenkin's Shrew), Crocidura nicobarica (Nicobar Shrew), Crocidura pergrisea (Kashmir rock shrew), Crocidura pullata (Dusky shrew), Cuon alpinus (Dhole), Delphinus delphis (Saddle-backed dolphin), Dugong dugon (Dugong), Elephas maximus (Indian Elephant, Asian Elephant), Equus hemionus (Dziggetai, Onager, Wild Asian Ass), Equus kiang (Kiang, Tibetan wild ass), Felis chaus (Jungle Cat), Felis manul (Pallas's Cat, Manul), Felis silvestris (Common Wild Cat), Globicephala macrorhynchus (Short-finned pilot whale), Helarctos malayanus (Malayan Sun bear, Sun bear), Hyaena hyaena (Striped hyaena), Hylobates hoolock (White-browed Gibbon, Hoolock gibbon), Kogia breviceps (Pygmy sperm whale) … further results

Wikipedia (Web): Wikipedia entry, Accessdate=2011-02-02