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Generations of zoology students have studied the lancelet—also known as amphioxus—because of the clues it may hold about the evolutionary history of the vertebrates. Resembling a little, colorless anchovy fillet, the lancelet is believed to bear an uncanny likeness to the invertebrate ancestor of the vertebrates. As unflattering as this may sound to a vertebrate wearing an Armani jacket, our authors provide further support for this theory on the basis of recent studies on the lancelet's molecular biology and embryonic development.
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