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

Origin: NL, fr. Gr. + sharp.

(01 Mar 1998)

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