How Are Echinoderms and Chordates Related?

Echinoderms and chordates are related in the sense that they both belong to the deuterostome superphylum, exhibiting somewhat similar patterns of early development during the embryonic stage. The differences between the phyla Echinodermata and Chordata are much more significant than their similarities, however.

All echinoderms are marine. Many chordates, including humans, live on land. Examples of echinoderms include brittle stars, sand dollars, sea stars, sea lilies, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Most chordates, though not all, are vertebrates. All amphibians, birds, fish, lampreys, mammals and reptiles are chordates. Invertebrate chordates have two different types: the tunicates and the lancelets. The tunicates are also known as sea squirts.