jawless fish

noun

Origin:
1965–70; jaw1 + -less

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
jawless fish  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (jô'lĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various primitive fish of the class Agnatha that lack jaws. Living jawless fish (lampreys and hagfish) have a long, cylindrical body and a cartilaginous skeleton. The numerous extinct species were often heavily armored and are among the earliest vertebrate fossils known. Jawless fish occupy an intermediate evolutionary position between primitive chordates and jawed fish. Also called agnathan. See more at cyclostome. Compare bony fish, cartilaginous fish.

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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

jawless fish

any of the class Agnatha of primitive, jawless fishes that includes the lampreys and hagfishes (order Cyclostomata), as well as extinct groups

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Jawless fish, an epic primer on the birth of vertebrates.
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