Study of larval forms In Protochordates

Larval Forms in Protochordates

The larval forms of Protochordates, which include the subphyla Cephalochordata (lancelets) and Urochordata (tunicates), play a crucial role in understanding the phylogeny of Chordata. These larval stages exhibit important characteristics that are shared by all chordates. One such characteristic is the presence of a notochord.

  1. Notochord: The notochord is a defining feature of chordates, and it is present in the larval forms of Protochordates. It is a solid, unjointed, and flexible rod-like structure located on the dorsal side of these animals. The notochord provides support to the body and serves as a precursor to the vertebral column found in vertebrates.
  2. Larval Characteristics: The larval forms of Protochordates exhibit several other essential chordate characteristics besides the notochord. These include a dorsal hollow nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail.
  3. Dorsal Hollow Nerve Cord: The larval forms possess a nerve cord that runs along the dorsal side of the body. This nerve cord is hollow, and it serves as a central pathway for transmitting nerve impulses. In chordates, this nerve cord develops into the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.
  4. Pharyngeal Slits: Another characteristic feature seen in the larval forms of Protochordates is the presence of pharyngeal slits. These slits are located in the pharyngeal region and serve various functions depending on the species. In some larval forms, the pharyngeal slits are involved in filter-feeding, while in others, they aid in respiration and gas exchange.
  5. Post-anal Tail: The presence of a post-anal tail is another characteristic shared by the larval forms of Protochordates. This tail extends beyond the anus and is involved in locomotion and balance. It is important for swimming and helps propel the larvae through the water.

The larval forms of Protochordates provide valuable insights into the evolutionary history and relationships of chordates. They exhibit the fundamental features that unite all chordates, such as the notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, and post-anal tail. By studying these larval forms, researchers gain a better understanding of the development, morphology, and evolutionary relationships within the phylum Chordata.


Larval forms of Protochordata

  • Tornaria larva of Balanoglossus ( Hemichordates)
  • Ascidian tadpole larva of Urochordata
  • Larval tunicates of Lancet ( Cephalochordates)

1. Tornaria larva of Balanoglossus ( Hemichordates)

The Tornaria larva is a distinctive larval stage found in the life cycle of the hemichordate organism Balanoglossus. The Tornaria larva was initially discovered by J. Müller in 1805, who originally believed it to be a larval form of echinoderms. However, in 1869, Metchnikoff clarified its identity as a larva of Balanoglossus, and it was subsequently named the Tornaria larva due to its characteristic behavior of rotating in circles.

  1. Larval Characteristics: The Tornaria larva possesses several notable features. It has a transparent, elongated body with a distinct anterior and posterior end. The anterior end is equipped with a prototroch, which is a band of cilia used for locomotion and feeding. The posterior end has a terminal band of cilia known as the telotroch. These ciliary bands aid in swimming and feeding activities.
  2. Rotational Behavior: The Tornaria larva is known for its unique habit of rotating in circular motions. This rotational behavior is believed to assist in feeding and movement within the water column. The ciliary bands on the larva’s body contribute to this rotational movement.
  3. Identification as Balanoglossus Larva: The discovery and identification of the Tornaria larva as a stage in the life cycle of Balanoglossus were significant contributions to understanding the taxonomy and development of hemichordates. This clarification by Metchnikoff helped establish the relationship between the larva and the adult form of Balanoglossus.
  4. Life Cycle: The Tornaria larva represents a planktonic larval stage in the life cycle of Balanoglossus. It hatches from eggs laid by adult Balanoglossus individuals and spends a period of time as a free-swimming larva in the water column. Eventually, the Tornaria larva undergoes metamorphosis and transforms into the adult form of Balanoglossus.
  5. Ecological Role: The Tornaria larva plays a vital ecological role as a dispersal and feeding stage in the life cycle of Balanoglossus. It allows for the distribution of Balanoglossus populations over larger areas and facilitates the utilization of planktonic food resources.

The discovery and subsequent identification of the Tornaria larva as a larval form of Balanoglossus provided important insights into the development and classification of hemichordates. The distinctive features and rotational behavior of the Tornaria larva have contributed to our understanding of the unique life cycle and ecological significance of Balanoglossus within the phylum Hemichordata.


Structure of Balanoglossus

  • The structure of Balanoglossus, a member of the phylum Hemichordata, exhibits several notable features. One stage in the life cycle of Balanoglossus is the tornaria larva, which is a planktonic form resembling the bipinnaria larva found in echinoderms like starfish. The tornaria larva of Balanoglossus has its own unique characteristics.
  • The tornaria larva of Balanoglossus is oval-shaped and transparent. It measures approximately 3mm in diameter, making it small and easily observable under a microscope. At the anterior end of the larva, there is an apical plate, which is a thickened region characterized by a tuft of cilia and a pair of eyespots. These cilia and eyespots play essential roles in the larva’s sensory perception and movement.
  • One of the remarkable features of the tornaria larva is its complete alimentary canal. This means that it possesses a digestive system that extends from the mouth to the anus, allowing it to process and absorb nutrients during its planktonic stage. The presence of a complete alimentary canal highlights the significance of feeding and growth for the larva’s development.
  • Throughout the larva’s body, there is a continuous ciliary band that extends from the anterior region to the posterior region. Additionally, the ciliary band encompasses the post-oral region. This band of cilia serves multiple purposes, including locomotion and creating water currents for feeding and respiration. The ciliary movement helps propel the larva through the water and aids in the capture of food particles.
  • The structure of Balanoglossus, specifically the tornaria larva, showcases adaptations that facilitate its survival and development in the marine environment. The oval shape and transparency of the larva allow for efficient locomotion and light penetration. The presence of an apical plate with cilia and eyespots enhances sensory perception, while the complete alimentary canal supports efficient feeding and growth. Finally, the continuous ciliary band aids in locomotion and the acquisition of nutrients.
  • Overall, the structure of Balanoglossus, particularly the tornaria larva, exemplifies the diverse and unique adaptations observed in the phylum Hemichordata. These adaptations enable the organisms to thrive in their marine habitats and contribute to our understanding of the complexity and diversity of life forms in the ocean.

Reproduction of Balanoglossus

  • The reproduction of Balanoglossus, a marine invertebrate belonging to the phylum Hemichordata, is a fascinating process characterized by separate sexes and external fertilization. Balanoglossus exhibits a unique reproductive strategy that involves the development of gonads in longitudinal rows on the sides of the alimentary canal.
  • In Balanoglossus, the gonads originate from the coelomic wall, which is the lining of the body cavity. Within the gonads, there is a specialized tissue called the germinal epithelium. This epithelium is responsible for the production of both sperm and eggs through a process known as gametogenesis.
  • The production of sperm and eggs begins with the proliferation of cells from the germinal epithelium. These cells undergo differentiation and maturation, ultimately giving rise to mature sperm and eggs. Once the sperm and eggs are fully developed, they are released from the gonads into the coelom.
  • To facilitate external fertilization, Balanoglossus possesses a genital pore through which mature sperm and eggs are discharged outside the body. The genital pore serves as the exit point for these reproductive cells, allowing them to come into contact with each other in the surrounding aquatic environment.
  • External fertilization occurs when the released sperm and eggs meet in the water. In this process, the sperm swims towards the eggs, and upon successful contact, fertilization takes place. This external fertilization strategy is well-suited for Balanoglossus, as it is a marine organism and relies on the surrounding water for the fusion of gametes.
  • Once fertilization occurs, the zygote undergoes further development, eventually leading to the formation of a new Balanoglossus individual. The zygote develops into a free-swimming larval stage, known as a tornaria larva, which undergoes metamorphosis and eventually settles on the sea floor to become an adult Balanoglossus.
  • In conclusion, the reproduction of Balanoglossus involves separate sexes, with the gonads developing in longitudinal rows on the sides of the alimentary canal. The germinal epithelium within the gonads is responsible for the production of sperm and eggs. Mature reproductive cells are released through a genital pore, and external fertilization occurs in the surrounding water. This unique reproductive strategy contributes to the life cycle and successful reproduction of Balanoglossus in its marine habitat.

Development of Balanoglossus

  • The development of Balanoglossus, a marine hemichordate, can occur through two distinct modes: indirect development, which involves a larval stage called the tornaria larva, and direct development, which occurs in larger eggs without the presence of a larval form.
  • In the case of larval development, the process begins with the formation of the protocoel, which later develops into the proboscis coelom. Concurrently, the proboscis pore, an opening in the developing organism, also takes shape. As development progresses, the invagination of the hind gut gives rise to the collar and trunk regions of the Balanoglossus larva.
  • The gut undergoes further differentiation, forming distinct structures such as the esophagus, stomach, and intestine. Importantly, the intestine opens to the outside through the anus, which is located near the blastopore. This anatomical arrangement allows for the elimination of waste materials from the developing organism.
  • As the Balanoglossus embryo continues to develop, it begins to develop cilia. These tiny hair-like structures play a crucial role in enabling the larva to lead a free-swimming life. The cilia aid in locomotion and allow the larva to move through the surrounding water column.
  • During the larval stage, the tornaria larva utilizes its cilia to propel itself through the water, facilitating dispersion and increasing the chances of survival. The larva explores its environment, feeding on microscopic organisms and growing in size.
  • It is important to note that not all Balanoglossus species undergo larval development. In some cases, direct development takes place. In these instances, the eggs of Balanoglossus are larger and lack a distinct larval stage. Instead, the embryo develops directly into a miniature version of the adult organism.
  • In conclusion, the development of Balanoglossus can occur through indirect or direct modes. During larval development, the protocoel develops into the proboscis coelom, and the collar and trunk regions arise from the invagination of the hind gut. The gut differentiates into the esophagus, stomach, and intestine, with the anus opening near the blastopore. The development of cilia enables the larva to lead a free-swimming life, promoting dispersion and exploration of the environment. In cases of direct development, the absence of a larval stage leads to the embryo directly forming a miniature version of the adult Balanoglossus.

2. Ascidian tadpole larva of Urochordata.


  • The structure of the ascidian tadpole larva of Urochordata is characterized by several unique features. This larval form exhibits a distinctive body shape, with a short oval body and a long tail. The entire body is enveloped by a thin test, which is a protective covering secreted by the ectodermal cells.
  • One notable feature of the ascidian tadpole larva is the presence of a caudal fin along the tail. This fin is formed by an extension of the test, providing propulsion and aiding in locomotion. At the anterior end of the trunk, there are three adhesive papillae composed of ectodermal cells. These papillae enable the larva to attach to surfaces and facilitate its ability to explore its environment.
  • The nervous system of the ascidian tadpole larva consists of an enlarged anterior portion known as the sense vesicle or brain. This structure is hollow and serves as the primary processing center for sensory information. From the brain, a nerve cord extends throughout the body, maintaining its hollowness. The nerve cord continues into the tail region and lies mid-dorsally, providing the larva with coordinated movement and sensory integration.
  • Within the sense vesicle, there are two main sense organs: a pigmented statocyst and two ocelli. The statocyst aids in balance and orientation, while the ocelli function as light-sensitive organs, allowing the larva to perceive changes in light intensity and direction.
  • The notochord, a flexible rod-like structure, extends from the anterior to the posterior end of the tail. This notochord provides support and rigidity to the larva, contributing to its overall body structure.
  • The ascidian tadpole larva possesses a complete alimentary canal, which includes a pharynx with an endostyle. The endostyle is responsible for producing mucus and secreting it into the pharynx, aiding in filter-feeding and the capture of food particles. Additionally, the pharynx contains stigmata, which are openings that allow water to enter and exit, facilitating respiration.
  • Surrounding the pharynx, there is an atrial cavity, which opens to the exterior through the dorsal atrial aperture. This cavity serves as a reservoir for water, allowing for the circulation and exchange of respiratory gases. The ascidian tadpole larva also possesses a heart and pericardium, which have developed to support the circulatory system.
  • In summary, the structure of the ascidian tadpole larva of Urochordata is characterized by its distinct body shape, presence of a tail with a caudal fin, adhesive papillae, a hollow nervous system with a sense vesicle and nerve cord, pigmented statocyst and ocelli, notochord, complete alimentary canal, pharynx with endostyle and stigmata, atrial cavity, and a well-developed circulatory system. These anatomical features are essential for the larva’s survival, locomotion, sensory perception, and feeding abilities.


  • The development of the ascidian tadpole larva of Urochordata is a fascinating process known as retrogressive metamorphosis. This unique mode of development involves a transformation from a free-swimming larval form to a sedentary adult form.
  • The ascidian tadpole larva starts its life as a fertilized egg. The egg undergoes cleavage, a process of cell division, leading to the formation of a hollow ball of cells called a blastula. The blastula then undergoes gastrulation, during which the cells rearrange themselves to form three germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm.
  • As development progresses, the ascidian tadpole larva takes shape. It develops a short oval body and a long tail. The entire body is covered by a thin test secreted by the ectodermal cells. This test provides protection and support to the developing larva.
  • The nervous system of the larva begins to form, with the development of the sense vesicle or brain. This anterior part of the nervous system is hollow and contains specialized sensory structures like the pigmented statocyst and ocelli. These sense organs enable the larva to perceive changes in orientation and light stimuli.
  • During the larval stage, the notochord, a flexible rod-like structure, extends from the anterior to the posterior end of the tail. The notochord provides structural support and plays a crucial role in larval locomotion.
  • As the larva continues to develop, it undergoes retrogressive metamorphosis. This process involves the regression or degeneration of certain larval structures and the development of adult features. Retrogressive metamorphosis is marked by the resorption of the tail, caudal fin, and adhesive papillae. These structures are no longer needed in the sedentary adult form.
  • Simultaneously, the pharynx undergoes significant changes. The endostyle and stigmata, which were important for filter-feeding in the larval stage, undergo modifications or disappear. The atrial cavity, which was already present in the larva, becomes more prominent and serves as a reservoir for water circulation in the adult.
  • The larva’s nervous system also undergoes modifications during metamorphosis. The nerve cord, which extended throughout the larval body, becomes reduced and reorganized in the adult stage.
  • The larval heart and pericardium are retained and continue to function in the adult ascidian. However, other larval structures involved in locomotion, such as the tail muscles, regress and are replaced by adult structures suited for the sedentary lifestyle.
  • Ultimately, the ascidian tadpole larva completes its metamorphosis, transitioning into a sedentary adult form. This adult form is characterized by its sessile nature, with the ability to attach itself to substrates using adhesive papillae or other specialized structures.
  • In conclusion, the development of the ascidian tadpole larva of Urochordata involves a process called retrogressive metamorphosis. This transformation includes the formation of larval structures, such as the body shape, tail, test, nervous system, and notochord. However, as the larva matures, certain structures degenerate and are replaced by adult features, leading to the formation of a sedentary adult ascidian. Retrogressive metamorphosis allows the ascidian to adapt to its ecological niche and transition from a free-swimming larva to a stationary filter-feeding adult.

3. Larval tunicates of Lancet (Cephalochordates)


  • The larval stage of lancets, also known as cephalochordates, exhibits a unique structure that sets them apart from their adult counterparts. These small fish-like animals typically measure around 3.5 to 6.0 cm in length and possess several distinctive anatomical features.
  • The body of the larval lancet is slender, somewhat translucent, and laterally compressed, giving it a sleek appearance. It is pointed at both ends, resembling a tapered shape. The anterior end of the body projects forward as a snout or rostrum. Positioned below the rostrum is an oral hood, which bears twenty or more oral cirri or tentacles. These tentacles play a crucial role in filter-feeding, allowing the larva to capture small food particles from the surrounding water.
  • The oral hood is enclosed within a cup-shaped buccal cavity or vestibule, which serves as the entrance to the digestive system. The anterior two-thirds of the body are roughly triangular in shape, while the rest of the body is nearly oval-shaped. Along the entire length of the body, there is a mid-dorsal caudal fin, which aids in locomotion and provides stability during swimming. Additionally, a ventral fin runs mid-ventrally from the caudal fin to the atriopore, contributing to the larva’s propulsion and maneuverability. These fins are supported by a series of fin rays, providing structure and flexibility.
  • The nervous system of the lancet larva consists of a hollow dorsal nerve cord, which runs along the length of the body. This nerve cord is positioned on the dorsal side and is responsible for transmitting neural signals and coordinating various bodily functions. In contrast, the gut is located ventrally and is responsible for digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • The larval lancet possesses a pharynx that is perforated with gill slits, which aid in respiration and filter-feeding. However, it is important to note that unlike most chordates, the gill clefts of an adult lancet do not open to the exterior but instead connect to the atrium, a cavity within the body. This unique arrangement distinguishes them from other chordates.
  • The excretory system of the larval lancet is protonephric, meaning it consists of primitive nephridia responsible for waste elimination. Lancets exhibit separate sexes, meaning individual larvae are either male or female. Fertilization occurs externally in the surrounding water.
  • Larval lancets are suspension feeders, utilizing their oral cirri or tentacles to capture small particles and plankton from the water column for nourishment. They are highly efficient at filter-feeding, an adaptation that allows them to obtain nutrients while in their larval stage.
  • Recent studies have provided evidence suggesting that lancets, specifically the cephalochordates, are the sister group of vertebrates. This conclusion is supported by mitochondrial and ribosomal evidence, which highlights the genetic and evolutionary relationships between these organisms.
  • In summary, the larval tunicates of lancets, or cephalochordates, exhibit a slender and compressed body with distinct features such as a pointed rostrum, oral hood with tentacles, buccal cavity, triangular and oval-shaped body regions, mid-dorsal and ventral fins supported by fin rays, hollow dorsal nerve cord, ventral gut, perforated pharynx with gill slits, protonephric excretory system, separate sexes, external fertilization, and suspension-feeding abilities. These larvae play a significant role in the life cycle of lancets and provide valuable insights into the evolutionary connections between chordates and vertebrates.

Larval Development

Larval development encompasses a series of significant metamorphic changes that shape the transition from larva to the adult form. In the context of the given information, the following key transformations occur:

  1. One notable change during larval development is the loss of ectodermal cilia and the club-shaped gland. These structures, which were present in the larval stage, are no longer needed and are subsequently lost.
  2. The position of the mouth also undergoes a significant shift. It moves from the left side of the body to the antero-ventral side. As this shift occurs, the margins of the mouth grow inward to form a structure known as the velum. Additionally, folds of skin develop to create an oral hood, which encloses the mouth. Inside the oral hood, oral cirri are formed, and a ciliated wheel organ takes shape.
  3. As part of the larval development, the organism acquires the habit of filter-feeding. This means that the larva adopts a feeding strategy in which it captures food particles from the surrounding water by utilizing specialized structures, such as the oral cirri and ciliated wheel organ, to filter and capture nutrients.
  4. The gill-slits, which are present in the larval stage, undergo changes during development. The appearance of tongue bars results in the division of the gill-slits, and additional gill-slits emerge behind the initial sets. These modifications contribute to the respiratory and filter-feeding capabilities of the organism.
  5. The development of the atrium, a cavity within the body, leads to a reduction in the size of the coelomic cavities. This reduction occurs in the pharyngeal region, as well as in the myocoel (the body cavity surrounding the muscles) and the gonocoel (the body cavity surrounding the gonads).
  6. Gonads, the reproductive organs, begin to develop from the anterior lower angles of the myotomes. These organs project into spaces within the body called gonocoels. The formation of gonocoels allows for the proper development and function of the gonads.
  7. Finally, the tail region of the larva elongates and undergoes a significant transformation. It assumes a higher degree of bilateral symmetry as it develops into the adult form. This transformation plays a crucial role in the overall development of the organism, as it signifies the completion of larval development and the attainment of the adult body plan.

In summary, larval development involves a series of metamorphic changes that result in the transition from a larval stage to the adult form. These changes include the loss of ectodermal cilia and the club-shaped gland, the shifting of the mouth to the antero-ventral side, the acquisition of filter-feeding habits, the division and appearance of additional gill-slits, the development of the atrium, the formation of gonads and gonocoels, and the elongation and transformation of the tail region. These transformations are crucial for the larva to acquire the characteristics and features necessary for its survival and reproduction as an adult organism.



The study of the development of Branchiostoma (Amphioxus) holds significant importance from several perspectives:

  1. Evolutionary Insight: The field of embryology, which focuses on the study of development, provides valuable insights into the evolutionary history of organisms. By examining the embryonic development of Branchiostoma, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of the evolutionary relationships and developmental patterns of chordates. This knowledge helps to elucidate the evolutionary transitions and adaptations that have shaped the diverse forms of life.
  2. Classification and Phylogeny: The position and mode of blastopore formation during embryonic development are crucial in classifying animals into two major groups: Protostomia and Deuterostomia. Protostomia refers to organisms where the blastopore develops into the mouth, while Deuterostomia refers to those in which the blastopore becomes the anus. Branchiostoma, along with other chordates and echinoderms, belongs to the Deuterostomia group. By understanding the developmental characteristics of Branchiostoma, researchers can classify and trace the evolutionary relationships among different animal phyla.
  3. Coelom Formation: The manner in which the coelom (body cavity) forms in Branchiostoma provides valuable insights into its evolutionary relationships with echinoderms. The coelom, which plays crucial roles in the development, support, and organization of internal organs, displays similarities in its formation between Branchiostoma and echinoderms. By studying the coelom formation in Branchiostoma, scientists can draw connections between chordates and echinoderms, shedding light on the evolutionary steps that led to the emergence of vertebrates.

By examining the fate of the blastopore, the formation of the mesoderm, the chemistry of muscles, and the similarities in sera proteins, researchers have proposed the evolution of two major lineages of invertebrates from coelenterates onwards. Branchiostoma, as a representative of primitive chordates, plays a significant role in bridging the gap between chordates and invertebrates. It helps unravel the evolutionary steps followed by vertebrates and provides valuable information about the common ancestry and evolutionary transitions that have shaped the diversity of life on Earth.


In summary, the study of Branchiostoma’s developmental processes holds great significance in the fields of evolutionary biology and classification. It provides insights into the evolutionary history of chordates, the classification of animals into major groups, and the relationships between different phyla. By studying Branchiostoma, researchers gain a deeper understanding of the evolutionary steps followed by vertebrates and the connections between chordates and invertebrates, contributing to our knowledge of the evolutionary processes that have shaped life as we know it.


What are protochordates?

Protochordates are a subphylum of chordates, which include the primitive marine organisms known as tunicates (ascidians) and lancelets (cephalochordates).


Why study the larval forms of protochordates?

The study of larval forms in protochordates is important because it provides insights into the embryonic development, evolutionary relationships, and ecological roles of these organisms. It helps us understand their life cycles and the adaptations that have allowed them to thrive in different environments.

What are larval forms in protochordates?

Larval forms in protochordates refer to the developmental stages of tunicates and lancelets that precede their adult forms. These larvae exhibit unique characteristics and structures specific to their respective species.


What are the major types of larval forms in tunicates?

Tunicates exhibit various larval forms, including the tadpole larva, oozoid larva, and doliolaria larva, each with distinct morphological characteristics and behaviors.

How do the larval forms of tunicates differ from their adult forms?

The larval forms of tunicates typically have a free-swimming lifestyle, possessing a tail and various sensory structures. In contrast, the adult forms are sessile filter-feeders with a more simplified body plan.

What are the key features of lancelet larval forms?

Lancelet larvae, also known as amphioxus larvae, have elongated bodies with a pointed anterior end and a mid-dorsal caudal fin. They possess oral cirri or tentacles and a perforated pharynx with gill slits for feeding and respiration.

What is the significance of studying lancelet larval forms?

The study of lancelet larval forms provides insights into the evolution of chordates and their relationship to other invertebrate and vertebrate groups. It helps us understand the ancestral characteristics and developmental patterns of chordates.

How do the larval forms of protochordates relate to other animal groups?

The larval forms of protochordates exhibit unique characteristics that can be compared to the larval stages of other animals, providing valuable information about their evolutionary relationships and developmental processes.

Are there variations in larval forms among different species of protochordates?

Yes, there are variations in larval forms among different species of protochordates. Tunicates, for example, have diverse larval forms that undergo metamorphosis into distinct adult forms. Lancelets, on the other hand, have more consistent larval forms across species.

How can the study of larval forms in protochordates contribute to scientific research?

The study of larval forms in protochordates can contribute to various fields of research, such as developmental biology, evolutionary biology, and ecology. It helps us understand fundamental processes in embryonic development, unravel the evolutionary history of chordates, and gain insights into the ecological roles of these organisms in marine ecosystems.

Leave a Comment

Our Domain,, has now change to
This domain will be Unavailable, All the posts from this website are transferred to the new domain. Enjoy study
Important notice
Overlay Image
Our website,, has now change to
This domain will be Unavailable, All the posts from this website are transferred to the new domain. Enjoy study
Overlay Image

Adblocker detected! Please consider reading this notice.

We've detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software which is preventing the page from fully loading.

We don't have any banner, Flash, animation, obnoxious sound, or popup ad. We do not implement these annoying types of ads!

We need money to operate the site, and almost all of it comes from our online advertising.

Please add to your ad blocking whitelist or disable your adblocking software.