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Most of the animals people are very familiar with are members of the phylum Chordata. Chordates are physically the largest members of the animal kingdom. We humans ourselves are mammals, one of the classes of chordates, and so are our pets like dogs and cats. Much of our meat, such as beef, poultry and fish, comes from chordates as well.

This biology study guide unit on Chordates begins by introducing their essential features. It then turns to a consideration of specific members of the phylum: first simple ones, and then a survey of the various classes, starting with the three classes of fish, then Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and finally Mammalia. Throughout this survey, there is a focus on the development of highly specialized organ systems, and particular attention is paid to some unique features contributing to the survival and success of these animals.

Chordates is excerpted from our Biology 11 Study Guide, which is the fourth edition of a student study guide written to match the curriculum of British Columbia. The concepts presented are applicable to the biology curricula of other educational jurisdictions as well.

As with each of the biology study guide units in this series, this unit contains:

  • Biological terms linked to a Glossary where they are carefully and contextually defined
  • Biological names in the Glossary linked to a useful Taxonomic Guide
  • Diagrams that display fullscreen views when double-tapped
  • Quiz-view formats of many diagrams in the enhanced version
  • Sets of Concept Check-up questions dispersed in the unit that are linked to their answers
  • Sets of Discussion Questions dispersed in the unit designed to challenge you as you work through it
  • A concluding set of Check Your Understanding of Concepts multiple choice questions linked to their answers
  • A set of Build Your Understanding questions designed to push you beyond the limitations of this unit.

Note: Discussion Questions and Build Your Understanding questions are not linked to their answers.