from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See lancelet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The lancelet

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fishlike creature (Amphioxus lanceolatus), two or three inches long, found in temperature seas; -- also called the lancelet. Its body is pointed at both ends. It is the lowest and most generalized of the vertebrates, having neither brain, skull, vertebræ, nor red blood. It forms the type of the group Acrania, Leptocardia, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The lancelets, the typical genus of the family Amphioxidæ, whose body is compressed and tapers to a point at each end: a synonym of Branchiostoma (which see). See also cut under lancelet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small translucent lancet-shaped burrowing marine animal; primitive forerunner of the vertebrates


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

amphi- + Greek oxus, sharp; see ak- in Indo-European roots.


  • In fact, the very name amphioxus is from Greek words meaning "both-pointed," with reference to the two ends.

    The Human Brain

  • In passing from the primitive chordates, such as amphioxus, into the vertebrate subphylum, one passes from an unspecialized nerve cord to one in which the anterior end has developed into the brain.

    The Human Brain

  • This poor beastie is an amphioxus, though a more apposite appellation might have been "anxious".

    Brainless and faceless? Don't get me started… | Kevin McKenna

  • The same mitochondrial DNA sequences placed echinoderms - which include starfish and sea urchins - in closer proximity to the vertebrates than amphioxus even though, being a chordate, we would expect amphioxus to be closer (Ref 2).

    Building Trees Sequentially

  • In going from amphioxus to jawless fish to jawed fish to land vertebrates we see an increase in complexity of the clotting cascade:

    Behe's Test

  • All of them are potentially testable via molecular clocks and whole-genome studies on a variety of protoverebrates we need the amphioxus genome, apparently due out this year and vertebrates, as well as reconstruction of the common ancestral proteins.

    Behe vs Sea Squirts - The Panda's Thumb

  • This is not dissimilar to the trypsin/prophenyloxidase system, in amphioxus, where a trypsin activates an enzyme prophenyloxidase to make gluggy melanin at wound sites 17.

    Behe vs Sea Squirts - The Panda's Thumb

  • The chordate amphioxus in modern taxonomy, Branchiostoma and its relatives, a protovertebrate that looks a bit like a minature eel, does clot its haemolymph.

    Behe vs Sea Squirts - The Panda's Thumb

  • Presence of prophenoloxidase in the humoral fluid of amphioxus Branchiostoma belcheri tsingtauense.

    Behe vs Sea Squirts - The Panda's Thumb

  • A tadpole-like beastie similar to the chordate amphioxus.

    Steve Steve and end of the Cambrian Explosion as we know it (part 1) - The Panda's Thumb


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