Describe the digestive system of amphioxus?

Question: Describe the digestive system of amphioxus?

Amphioxus, also known as lancelets or Branchiostoma, possess a relatively simple digestive system compared to more complex organisms. The digestive system of amphioxus consists of a mouth, pharynx, and intestine. 

The mouth of amphioxus is located on the ventral side of its body and is surrounded by tentacle-like structures called cirri, which help in capturing food particles. From the mouth, food enters the pharynx, where ciliary action and muscular contractions help in moving the food towards the intestine. The pharynx is lined with gill slits that primarily serve respiratory functions but also aid in the filtration of food particles.

Once the food enters the intestine, digestion occurs primarily through the secretion of digestive enzymes. The intestine is a straight tube that extends the length of the body and is surrounded by a layer of cells responsible for nutrient absorption. Waste materials that are not absorbed pass out of the body through an anus-like structure called the atrium.

Overall, the digestive system of amphioxus is adapted for filter-feeding and simple digestion, allowing them to extract nutrients from the water they inhabit.

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