It's A Long Way From Amphioxus

Oh, a fish-like thing appeared among the annelids one day,
It hadn't any parapods or setae to display.
It hadn't any eyes or jaws or ventral nervous chord.
But it had a lot of gill slits and it had a notochord.

It's a long way from amphioxus, it's a long way to us.
It's a long way from amphioxus to the meanest human cuss.
It's good-bye to fins and gill slits, and welcome lungs and hair.
It's a long, long way from amphioxus, but we all came from there.

It wan't much to look at and it scarce knew how to swim.
And Nories was very sure it hadn't come from him.
The Molluscs wouldn't own it and the Arthropods got sore.
So the poor thing had to burrow in the sand along the shore.


He burrowed in the sand before a crab could nip his tail.
And he said, "Gill slits and myotomes are all to no avail."
"I've grown some metapleural folds and sport an oral hood.
But all these fine new characters don't do me any good."


He sulked awhile down in the sand, without a bit of pep;
Then he stiffened up his notochord and said, "I'll beat 'em yet!"
"Let them laugh and show their ignorance, I don't mind their jeers."
"Just wait until they see me in a hundred million years."


"My notochord shall change into a chain of vertebra,
And, as fins, my metapleural folds will agitate the sea."
"My tiny dorsal nervous chord shall be a mighty brain.
And the vertebrates shall dominate the animal domain."

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