Introduction to Superphylum Deuterostomia

What you’ll learn to do: Identify the common characteristics of superphylum Deuterostomia

Deuterostomia is a major subgroup of animals. It is comprised of two lineages, the Chordata and Ambulacraria (Edgecombe et al. 2011, Swalla & Smith 2008). Chordata consists of two exclusively marine groups, the fish-like lancelets (Cephalocordata) and the sea squirts, salps and relatives (Tunicata) as well as the vertebrates which include fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Ambulacraria contains the exclusively marine echinoderms (sea stars, brittle stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, and sea lilies) and hemichordates (soft-bodied benthic worm-like animals).