Definition of craniate in English:



  • An animal that possesses a skull.

    Compare with vertebrate
    • ‘Hagfish are the oldest lineage of craniates and thus are considered important to evolutionary studies.’
    • ‘The immediate outgroup of craniates, the Cephalochordata, show strong asymmetry during development.’
    • ‘We still have no fossil evidence of the nature of the transition between cephalochordates and craniates.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there are few quantitative data on the relative sizes of major brain divisions in most craniates.’
    • ‘Thus, there exist two competing theories about the interrelationships of craniates, i.e., animals with a skull.’


  • Relating to the craniates.

    • ‘After the publication of the first computer-generated phylogenies of the major craniate groups, the discussion has become quite difficult.’
    • ‘The recent discovery of the Cambrian craniate Haikouichthys has confused matters somewhat.’
    • ‘The relationships between hagfishes, lampreys, and jawed vertebrates are one of the still-unresolved problems in craniate phylogeny.’
    • ‘It can have at once, the concentration of a craniate animal and the diffused vitality of an amoeba.’
    • ‘How can changes in an ancestral ontogeny be reconstructed, since the ancestors of most craniate radiations are extinct?’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin craniatus, from medieval Latin cranium (see cranium).