VertebrateAn animal with a backbone or 'vertebral column', which consists of a series of bony ring-like structures ('vertebrae') protecting the spinal cord. The vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) form the 'sub-phylum' Vertebrata within the phylum Chordata, each group of vertebrates forming a class.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver