One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A cartilaginous skeletal rod supporting the body in all embryonic and some adult chordate animals.
- ‘Let us review the fundamental features of the vertebrate body as context for notochords and backbones.’
- ‘They all have, at some embryonic stage, a notochord, flanked by muscle, and a dorsal neural tube.’
- ‘In those chordates which lack bone, muscles work against the notochord to move the animal.’
- ‘Moreover, these ectopic neural tubes were patterned appropriately with respect to the notochord and dorsal ectoderm.’
- ‘In the evolution of vertebrates, long bodies with continuously flexible notochords and segmental muscles existed before the appearance of segmental vertebrae.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek nōton ‘back’ + chord.
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