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is a flexible, hollow tube found in hemichordates. Stomochords were initially considered a variant of a primitive notochord
The notochord is a flexible, rod-shaped body found in embryos of all chordates. It is composed of cells derived from the mesoderm and defines the primitive axis of the embryo. In some chordates, it persists throughout life as the main axial support of the body, while in most vertebrates it becomes...
, but are now recognized to not share histological composition to that of the notochord found in chordates.
Stomochords arise in embryonic development as an outpocketing from the roof of the embryonic gut anterior to the pharynx. In adults, they extend dorsally from the pharynx into the probiscis, and serve to communicate with the oral cavity. Their walls are composed primarily of epithelial cells, but ciliated and glandular cells are also present.