The Gambia the Republic of The Gambia, is a country in West Africa, entirely surrounded by Senegal with the exception of its western coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It is the smallest country within mainland Africa; the Gambia is situated on both sides of the lower reaches of the Gambia River, the nation's namesake, which flows through the centre of The Gambia and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 10,689 square kilometres with a population of 1,857,181 as of the April 2013 census. Banjul is the Gambian capital and the largest cities are Serekunda and Brikama; the Gambia shares historical roots with many other West African nations in the slave trade, the key factor in the placing and keeping of a colony on the Gambia River, first by the Portuguese, during which era it was known as A Gâmbia. On 25 May 1765, The Gambia was made a part of the British Empire when the government formally assumed control, establishing the Province of Senegambia. In 1965, The Gambia gained independence under the leadership of Dawda Jawara, who ruled until Yahya Jammeh seized power in a bloodless 1994 coup.
Adama Barrow became The Gambia's third president in January 2017, after defeating Jammeh in December 2016 elections. Jammeh accepted the results refused to accept them, which triggered a constitutional crisis and military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States, resulting in his exile; the Gambia's economy is dominated by farming and tourism. In 2015, 48.6% of the population lived in poverty. In rural areas, poverty is more widespread, at 70%; the name "Gambia" is derived from the Mandinka term Kambra/Kambaa. According to the CIA World Factbook, the US Department of State, the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World and the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use, The Gambia is one of few countries whose self-standing short name for official use should begin with the word "The". Upon independence in 1965, the country used the name The Gambia. Following the proclamation of a republic in 1970, the long-form name of the country became Republic of The Gambia.
The administration of Yahya Jammeh changed the long-form name to Islamic Republic of The Gambia in December 2015. On 29 January 2017 President Adama Barrow changed the name back to Republic of The Gambia. Arab traders provided the first written accounts of the Gambia area in the ninth and tenth centuries. During the tenth century, Muslim merchants and scholars established communities in several West African commercial centres. Both groups established trans-Saharan trade routes, leading to a large export trade of local people as slaves gold and ivory, as well as imports of manufactured goods. By the 11th or 12th century, the rulers of kingdoms such as Takrur, a monarchy centred on the Senegal River just to the north, ancient Ghana and Gao had converted to Islam and had appointed to their courts Muslims who were literate in the Arabic language. At the beginning of the 14th century, most of what is today called The Gambia was part of the Mali Empire; the Portuguese reached this area by sea in the mid-15th century, began to dominate overseas trade.
In 1588, the claimant to the Portuguese throne, António, Prior of Crato, sold exclusive trade rights on the Gambia River to English merchants. Letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I confirmed the grant. In 1618, King James I of England granted a charter to an English company for trade with the Gambia and the Gold Coast. Between 1651 and 1661, some parts of the Gambia were under the rule of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia belonging to Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth—modern-day Latvia—and were bought by Prince Jacob Kettler. During the late 17th century and throughout the 18th century, the British Empire and the French Empire struggled continually for political and commercial supremacy in the regions of the Senegal River and the Gambia River; the British Empire occupied the Gambia when an expedition led by Augustus Keppel landed there following the Capture of Senegal in 1758. The 1783 First Treaty of Versailles gave Great Britain possession of the Gambia River, but the French retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the river's north bank.
This was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1856. As many as three million people may have been taken as slaves from this general region during the three centuries that the transatlantic slave trade operated, it is not known how many people were taken as slaves by intertribal wars or Muslim traders before the transatlantic slave trade began. Most of those taken were sold by other Africans to Europeans: some were prisoners of intertribal wars. Traders sent people to Europe to work as servants until the market for labour expanded in the West Indies and North America in the 18th century. In 1807, the United Kingdom abolished the slave trade throughout its empire, it tried, unsuccessfully, to end the slave trade in the Gambia. Slave ships intercepted by the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron in the Atlantic were returned to the Gambia, with people, slaves released on MacCarthy Island far up the Gambia River where they were expected to establish new lives; the British established the military post of Bathurst in 1816.
In the ensuing years, Banjul was at times under the jurisdiction of the British Governor-General in Sierra Leone. In 1888, The Gambia became a separate colony. An agreement with the French Republic in 1889 established the present boundaries; the Gambia became a British Crown colony called Briti
Reptiles are tetrapod animals in the class Reptilia, comprising today's turtles, snakes, lizards and their extinct relatives. The study of these traditional reptile orders combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology; because some reptiles are more related to birds than they are to other reptiles, the traditional groups of "reptiles" listed above do not together constitute a monophyletic grouping or clade. For this reason, many modern scientists prefer to consider the birds part of Reptilia as well, thereby making Reptilia a monophyletic class, including all living Diapsids; the earliest known proto-reptiles originated around 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, having evolved from advanced reptiliomorph tetrapods that became adapted to life on dry land. Some early examples include Casineria. In addition to the living reptiles, there are many diverse groups that are now extinct, in some cases due to mass extinction events. In particular, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped out the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs and sauropods, as well as many species of theropods, including troodontids, dromaeosaurids and abelisaurids, along with many Crocodyliformes, squamates.
Modern non-avian reptiles inhabit all the continents except Antarctica, although some birds are found on the periphery of Antarctica. Several living subgroups are recognized: Testudines, 350 species. Reptiles are tetrapod vertebrates, creatures that either have four limbs or, like snakes, are descended from four-limbed ancestors. Unlike amphibians, reptiles do not have an aquatic larval stage. Most reptiles are oviparous, although several species of squamates are viviparous, as were some extinct aquatic clades – the fetus develops within the mother, contained in a placenta rather than an eggshell; as amniotes, reptile eggs are surrounded by membranes for protection and transport, which adapt them to reproduction on dry land. Many of the viviparous species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta analogous to those of mammals, with some providing initial care for their hatchlings. Extant reptiles range in size from a tiny gecko, Sphaerodactylus ariasae, which can grow up to 17 mm to the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, which can reach 6 m in length and weigh over 1,000 kg.
In the 13th century the category of reptile was recognized in Europe as consisting of a miscellany of egg-laying creatures, including "snakes, various fantastic monsters, assorted amphibians, worms", as recorded by Vincent of Beauvais in his Mirror of Nature. In the 18th century, the reptiles were, from the outset of classification, grouped with the amphibians. Linnaeus, working from species-poor Sweden, where the common adder and grass snake are found hunting in water, included all reptiles and amphibians in class "III – Amphibia" in his Systema Naturæ; the terms "reptile" and "amphibian" were interchangeable, "reptile" being preferred by the French. Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti was the first to formally use the term "Reptilia" for an expanded selection of reptiles and amphibians similar to that of Linnaeus. Today, the two groups are still treated under the same heading as herptiles, it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that it became clear that reptiles and amphibians are, in fact, quite different animals, Pierre André Latreille erected the class Batracia for the latter, dividing the tetrapods into the four familiar classes of reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
The British anatomist Thomas Henry Huxley made Latreille's definition popular and, together with Richard Owen, expanded Reptilia to include the various fossil "antediluvian monsters", including dinosaurs and the mammal-like Dicynodon he helped describe. This was not the only possible classification scheme: In the Hunterian lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1863, Huxley grouped the vertebrates into mammals and ichthyoids, he subsequently proposed the names of Ichthyopsida for the latter two groups. In 1866, Haeckel demonstrated that vertebrates could be divided based on their reproductive strategies, that reptiles and mammals were united by the amniotic egg; the terms "Sauropsida" and "Theropsida" were used again in 1916 by E. S. Goodrich to distinguish between lizards and their relatives on the one hand and mammals and their extinct relatives on the other. Goodrich supported this division by the nature of the hearts and blood vessels in each group, other features, such as the structure of the forebrain.
According to Goodrich, both lineages evolved from an earlier stem group, Protosauria in which he included some animals today considered reptile-like amphibians, as well as early reptiles. In 1956, D. M. S. Watson observed that the first two groups diverged early in reptilian history, so he divided Goodrich's Protosauria between them, he reinterpreted Sauropsida and Theropsida to exclude birds and mammals, respectively. Thus his Sauropsida included Procolophonia, Millerosauria, Squamata, Rhynchocephalia
African fish eagle
The African fish eagle, or to distinguish it from the true fish eagles, the African sea eagle, is a large species of eagle found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply occur. It is the national bird of Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Sudan; as a result of its large range, it is known in many languages. Examples of names include: visarend in Afrikaans, nkwazi in Chewa, aigle pêcheur in French, hungwe in Shona, inkwazi in isiZulu; this species may resemble the bald eagle in appearance. The African fish eagle is a species placed in the genus Haliaeetus, its closest relative appears to be the critically endangered Madagascar fish eagle. Like all sea eagle species pairs, this one consists of a tan-headed one; these are an ancient lineage of sea eagles, as such, have dark talons and eyes Both species have at least white tails as juveniles. The scientific name is derived from Haliaeetus, New Latin for "sea eagle", vocifer is derived from its original genus name, so named by the French naturalist François Levaillant, who called it'the vociferous one'.
The African fish eagle is a large bird, the female, at 3.2–3.6 kg is larger than the male, at 2.0–2.5 kg. This is typical sexual dimorphism in birds of prey. Males have wingspans around 2 m, while females have wingspans of 2.4 m. The body length is 63–75 cm; the adult is distinctive in appearance with a brown body with a white head like the bald eagle and large, black wings. The head and tail of African fish eagles are snow white, with the exception of the featherless face, yellow; the eyes are dark brown in colour. The hook-shaped beak, ideal for a carnivorous lifestyle, is yellow with a black tip; the plumage of the juvenile is brown in colour, the eyes are paler compared to the adult. The feet have rough soles and are equipped with powerful talons to enable the eagle to grasp slippery aquatic prey. While this species subsists on fish, it is opportunistic and may take a wider variety of prey such as waterbirds, its distinctive cry is, for many, evocative of the essence of Africa. The call, shriller when uttered by males, is hyo-hyo or a heee-ah, heeah-heeah.
This species is still quite common near freshwater lakes and rivers, although they can sometimes be found near the coast at the mouths of rivers or lagoons. African fish eagles are indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, ranging over most of continental Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Several examples of places where they may be resident include the Orange River in South Africa and Namibia, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Lake Malawi bordering Malawi and Mozambique; the African fish eagle is thought to occur in substantial numbers around the locations of Lake Victoria and other large lakes in central Africa the Rift Valley lakes. This is a generalist species, requiring only open water with sufficient prey and a good perch, as evidenced by the number of habitat types in which this species may be found, including grassland, marshes, tropical rainforest and desert-bordering coastlines, such as that of Namibia; the African fish eagle is absent from arid areas with little surface water. African fish eagles breed during the dry season.
They are believed to mate for life. Pairs maintain two or more nests, which they reuse; because nests are reused and built upon over the years, they can grow quite large, some reaching 2 m across and 1.2 m deep. The nests are placed in a large tree and are built of sticks and other pieces of wood; the female lays one to three eggs, which are white with a few reddish speckles. Incubation is done by the female, but the male incubates when the female leaves to hunt. Incubation lasts for 42 to 45 days before the chicks hatch. Siblicide does not occur in this taxon, the parents successfully rear two or three chicks. Chicks fledge around 70 to 75 days old. Postfledgling dependence lasts up to three months, whereafter the juveniles become nomadic, may congregate in groups away from territorial adults; those that survive their first year have a life expectancy of some 12 to 24 years. The African fish eagle feeds on fish, which it swoops down upon from a perch in a tree, snatching the prey from the water with its large, clawed talons.
The eagle flies back to its perch to eat its catch. Like other sea eagles, the African fish eagle has structures on its toes called spiricules that allow it to grasp fish and other slippery prey; the osprey, a winter visitor to Africa has this adaptation. Should the African fish eagle catch prey over ten times their own body weight, it is too heavy to allow the eagle to get lift, so it instead drags the fish across the surface of the water until it reaches the shore. If it catches a fish too heavy to allow the eagle to sustain flight, it will drop into the water and paddle to the nearest shore with its wings; the African fish eagle is known to steal the catch of other bird species in a behaviour known as kleptoparasitism. It feeds on birds waterbirds such as ducks and lesser flamingos, small turtles and terrapins, baby crocodiles, lizards and carrion, it may carry off mammalian prey, such as hyraxes and monkeys. It has been observed feeding on domestic fowl; this species i
The Accipitridae, one of the four families within the order Accipitriformes, are a family of small to large birds with hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a few feeding on fruit; the Accipitridae have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found on all the world's continents and a number of oceanic island groups. Some species are migratory. Many well-known birds, such as hawks, kites and Old World vultures are included in this group; the osprey is placed in a separate family, as is the secretary bird, the New World vultures are usually now regarded as a separate family or order. Karyotype data indicate the accipitrids analysed are indeed a distinct monophyletic group, but whether this group should be considered a family or one or several order on their own is a question still to be resolved; the accipitrids have been variously divided into some five to 10 subfamilies. Most share a similar morphology, but many of these groups contain taxa that are more aberrant.
These are placed in their respective position more for lack of better evidence than anything else. It is thus not surprising that the phylogenetic layout of the accipitrids has always been a matter of dispute; the accipitrids are recognizable by a peculiar rearrangement of their chromosomes. Apart from this, morphology and mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data give a confusing picture of these birds' interrelationships. What can be said is that the hawks, kites and Old World vultures as presently assigned in all likelihood do not form monophyletic groups: According to the molecular data, the Buteoninae are most poly- or paraphyletic, with the true eagles, the sea eagles, the buteonine hawks representing distinct lineages; these appear to form a group with the Milvinae and Circinae but the exact relationships between the lineages are not at all robustly resolvable with the present data. The Perninae and the Elaninae are older lineages, as are the Old World vultures; the latter are likely poly- or paraphyletic, with some aberrant species like the bearded and Egyptian vultures standing apart from the naked-necked "true" vultures.
The Accipitridae are a diverse family with a great deal of variation in shape. They range in size from the tiny pearl kite and little sparrowhawk, both of which are 23 cm in length and weigh about 85 g, to the cinereous vulture, which measures up to 120 cm and weighs up to 14 kg. Wingspan can vary from 39 cm in the little sparrowhawk to more than 300 cm in the cinereous and Himalayan vultures. In these extreme species, wing chord length can range from 113 to 890 mm and culmen length from 11 to 88 mm; until the 14th century these huge vultures were surpassed by the extinct Haast's eagle of New Zealand, estimated to have measured up to 140 cm and to have weighed 15 to 16.5 kg in the largest females. In terms of body mass, the Accipitridae are the most diverse family of birds and may be in terms of some aspects of linear size diversity, although lag behind the true parrots and pheasant family in length diversity. Most accipitrids exhibit sexual dimorphism in size, unusually for birds, it is the females that are larger than the males.
This sexual difference in size is most pronounced in active species that hunt birds, such as the Accipiter hawks, in which the size difference averages 25–50%. In a majority of species, such as generalist hunters and rodent-, reptile-, fish-, insect-hunting specialists, the dimorphism is less between a 5% to 30% size difference. In the carrion-eating Old World vultures and snail eating kites, the difference is non-existent; the beaks of accipitrids are hooked. In some species, there is a notch or'tooth' in the upper mandible. In all accipitrids, the base of the upper mandible is covered by a fleshy membrane called the cere, yellow in colour; the tarsi of different species vary by diet. The plumage of the Accipitridae can be striking, but utilises bright colours. Overall they tend to be paler below. There is sexual dimorphism in plumage, when it occurs the males are brighter or the females resemble juveniles. In many species juveniles have a distinctly different plumage; some accipitrids mimic the plumage patterns of other eagles.
They may attempt to resemble a less dangerous species to fool prey, or instead resemble a more dangerous species in order to reduce mobbing by other birds. Several species of accipitrid have crests used in signalling, species without crests can raise the feathers of the crown when alarmed or excited. In contrast most of the Old World vultures possess bare heads without feathers; the senses of the Accipitridae are adapted to hunting, in particular their vision is legendary. The sight of some hawks and eagles is up to 8 times better than that of humans. Large eyes with two fovea provide binocular vis
Uganda the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, to the south by Tanzania; the southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda lies within the Nile basin, has a varied but a modified equatorial climate. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala; the people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country. Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the UK, who established administrative law across the territory. Uganda gained independence from the UK on 9 October 1962; the period since has been marked by intermittent conflicts, including a lengthy civil war against the Lord's Resistance Army in the Northern Region led by Joseph Kony, which has caused hundreds of thousands of casualties.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although "any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law." Luganda, a central language, is spoken across the country, several other languages are spoken including Runyoro, Rukiga and Lusoga. The president of Uganda is Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who came to power in January 1986 after a protracted six-year guerrilla war, he has since eliminated the presidential term limits and the presidential age limit, becoming president for life. The residents of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700–2,300 years ago. Bantu-speaking populations, who were from central Africa, migrated to the southern parts of the country. According to oral tradition, the Empire of Kitara covered an important part of the great lakes area, from the northern lakes Albert and Kyoga to the southern lakes Victoria and Tanganyika. Bunyoro-Kitara is claimed as the antecedent of the Buganda, Toro and Busoga kingdoms.
Some Luo invaded the area of Bunyoro and assimilated with the Bantu there, establishing the Babiito dynasty of the current Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara. Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s, they were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile. British Anglican missionaries arrived in the kingdom of Buganda in 1877 and were followed by French Catholic missionaries in 1879; the British government chartered the Imperial British East Africa Company to negotiate trade agreements in the region beginning in 1888. From 1886, there were a series of religious wars in Buganda between Muslims and Christians and from 1890, between ba-Ingleza Protestants and ba-Fransa Catholics; because of civil unrest and financial burdens, IBEAC claimed that it was unable to "maintain their occupation" in the region. British commercial interests were ardent to protect the trade route of the Nile, which prompted the British government to annex Buganda and adjoining territories to create the Uganda Protectorate in 1894.
In the 1890s, 32,000 labourers from British India were recruited to East Africa under indentured labour contracts to construct the Uganda Railway. Most of the surviving Indians returned home, but 6,724 decided to remain in East Africa after the line's completion. Subsequently, some took control of cotton ginning and sartorial retail. From 1900 to 1920, a sleeping sickness epidemic in the southern part of Uganda, along the north shores of Lake Victoria, killed more than 250,000 people. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962 with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and Queen of Uganda. In October 1963, Uganda became a republic but maintained its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations; the first post-independence election, held in 1962, was won by an alliance between the Uganda People's Congress and Kabaka Yekka. UPC and KY formed the first post-independence government with Milton Obote as executive prime minister, with the Buganda Kabaka Edward Muteesa II holding the ceremonial position of president.
Uganda's immediate post-independence years were dominated by the relationship between the central government and the largest regional kingdom – Buganda. From the moment the British created the Uganda protectorate, the issue of how to manage the largest monarchy within the framework of a unitary state had always been a problem. Colonial governors had failed to come up with a formula; this was further complicated by Buganda's nonchalant attitude to its relationship with the central government. Buganda never sought independence, but rather appeared to be comfortable with a loose arrangement that guaranteed them privileges above the other subjects within the protectorate or a special status when the British left; this was evidenced in part by hostilities between the British colonial authorities and Buganda prior to independence. Within Buganda there were divisions – between those who wanted the Kabaka to remain a dominant monarch, those who wanted to join with the rest of Uganda to create a modern secular state.
The split resulted in the creation of two dominant Buganda based parties – the Kabaka Yekka KY, the Democratic Party that had roots in the Catholic Church. The bitterness between these two parties was intense especiall
A chordate is an animal constituting the phylum Chordata. During some period of their life cycle, chordates possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, a post-anal tail: these five anatomical features define this phylum. Chordates are bilaterally symmetric; the Chordata and Ambulacraria together form the superphylum Deuterostomia. Chordates are divided into three subphyla: Vertebrata. There are extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia. Hemichordata has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but now is treated as a separate phylum: hemichordates and Echinodermata form the Ambulacraria, the sister phylum of the Chordates. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, about half are bony fish that are members of the superclass Osteichthyes. Chordate fossils have been found from as early as the Cambrian explosion, 541 million years ago. Cladistically, vertebrates - chordates with the notochord replaced by a vertebral column during development - are considered to be a subgroup of the clade Craniata, which consists of chordates with a skull.
The Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. Chordates form a phylum of animals that are defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following anatomical features: A notochord, a stiff rod of cartilage that extends along the inside of the body. Among the vertebrate sub-group of chordates the notochord develops into the spine, in wholly aquatic species this helps the animal to swim by flexing its tail. A dorsal neural tube. In fish and other vertebrates, this develops into the spinal cord, the main communications trunk of the nervous system. Pharyngeal slits; the pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth. In fish, the slits are modified to form gills, but in some other chordates they are part of a filter-feeding system that extracts particles of food from the water in which the animals live. Post-anal tail. A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus. An endostyle; this is a groove in the ventral wall of the pharynx. In filter-feeding species it produces mucus to gather food particles, which helps in transporting food to the esophagus.
It stores iodine, may be a precursor of the vertebrate thyroid gland. There are soft constraints that separate chordates from certain other biological lineages, but are not part of the formal definition: All chordates are deuterostomes; this means. All chordates are based on a bilateral body plan. All chordates are coelomates, have a fluid filled body cavity called a coelom with a complete lining called peritoneum derived from mesoderm; the following schema is from the third edition of Vertebrate Palaeontology. The invertebrate chordate classes are from Fishes of the World. While it is structured so as to reflect evolutionary relationships, it retains the traditional ranks used in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylum Chordata †Vetulicolia? Subphylum Cephalochordata – Class Leptocardii Clade Olfactores Subphylum Tunicata – Class Ascidiacea Class Thaliacea Class Appendicularia Class Sorberacea Subphylum Vertebrata Infraphylum incertae sedis Cyclostomata Superclass'Agnatha' paraphyletic Class Myxini Class Petromyzontida or Hyperoartia Class †Conodonta Class †Myllokunmingiida Class †Pteraspidomorphi Class †Thelodonti Class †Anaspida Class †Cephalaspidomorphi Infraphylum Gnathostomata Class †Placodermi Class Chondrichthyes Class †Acanthodii Superclass Osteichthyes Class Actinopterygii Class Sarcopterygii Superclass Tetrapoda Class Amphibia Class Sauropsida Class Synapsida Craniates, one of the three subdivisions of chordates, all have distinct skulls.
They include the hagfish. Michael J. Benton commented that "craniates are characterized by their heads, just as chordates, or all deuterostomes, are by their tails". Most craniates are vertebrates; these consist of a series of bony or cartilaginous cylindrical vertebrae with neural arches that protect the spinal cord, with projections that link the vertebrae. However hagfish have incomplete braincases and no vertebrae, are therefore not regarded as vertebrates, but as members of the craniates, the group from which vertebrates are thought to have evolved; however the cladistic exclusion of hagfish from the vertebrates is controversial, as they ma