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Meaning of vertebrate

ver•te•brate

Pronunciation: (vûr'tu-brit, -brāt"), [key]
— adj.
  1. having vertebrae; having a backbone or spinal column.
  2. belonging or pertaining to the Vertebrata (or Craniata), a subphylum of chordate animals, comprising those having a brain enclosed in a skull or cranium and a segmented spinal column; a major taxonomic group that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.
—n.
  1. a vertebrate animal.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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