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Vertebrate innovations include neural crest cells and their derivatives, neurogenic placodes, an elaborate segmented brain, endoskeleton, and an increase in the number of genes in the genome. Comparative molecular and developmental data give new insights into the evolutionary origins of these characteristics and the complexity of the vertebrate body.


Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





4449 - 4452


Animals, Brain, Chordata, Nonvertebrate, Evolution, Molecular, Fishes, Fossils, Gene Duplication, Multigene Family, Phylogeny, Vertebrates