Nori Satoh, a researcher at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, has identified what he sees as the moment the notochord, and hence the chordate lineage, was born. “I have proposed that the occurrence of tadpole-like larvae is a key event that caused the evolution of chordates,” he explains.
Early in life, many deuterostomes pass through a larval stage. But while acorn worm or sea urchin larvae might swim about by rhythmically moving tiny hair-like structures – cilia – on their bodies, chordate larvae have a tail that they beat.
“The notochord is the supporting organ of the beating tail,” says Satoh.More.
Yeah, just happened. How?
See also: The highly engineered transition to vertebrates: an example of functional information analysis
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