Feeding ecology and diet

Acoels have no true gut, but have instead a digestive syn-cytium, a simple, not formed inner cavity. The digestive syn-cytium is not formed from mesodermal tissue as is a true coelom. Various acoel species feed on algae, microorganisms and detritus, ingesting food through a simple pharynx or even simpler mouth located on the ventral surface. Some carry en-dosymbiotic algae within their epidermis and absorb nourishment manufactured by the algae.

The mouth or pharynx of an acoel leads to a packed or loose mass of endodermal cells that serves as the digestive organ. Food particles ingested by the animal are absorbed and digested by individual cells in the endodermal mass. This mode of digestion is known as phagocytosis.

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

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