|tunicate (ˈtjuːnɪkɪt, -ˌkeɪt)|
|1.||See also ascidian any minute primitive marine chordate animal of the subphylum Tunicata (or Urochordata, Urochorda). The adults have a saclike unsegmented body enclosed in a cellulose-like outer covering (tunic) and only the larval forms have a notochord: includes the sea squirts|
|2.||of, relating to, or belonging to the subphylum Tunicata|
|3.||(esp of a bulb) having or consisting of concentric layers of tissue|
|[C18: from Latin tunicātus clad in a |
|tunicate (t'nĭ-kĭt) Pronunciation Key
Any of various primitive marine chordate animals of the subphylum Tunicata, having a rounded or cylindrical body that is enclosed in a tough outer covering. Tunicates start out life as free-swimming, tadpolelike animals with a notochord (a primitive backbone), but many, such as the sea squirts, lose the notochord and most of their nervous system as adults and become fixed to rocks or other objects. Tunicates often form colonies.