Triploblasts may develop an internal body cavity derived from mesoderm, called a coelom(pr. see- LŌM). This epithelial-lined cavity is a space, usually filled with fluid, which lies between the digestive system and the body wall. It houses organs such as the kidneys and spleen, and contains the circulatory system. Triploblasts that do not develop a coelom are called acoelomates, and their mesoderm region is completely filled with tissue, although they have a gut cavity. Examples of acoelomates include the flatworms. Animals with a true coelom are called eucoelomates(or coelomates) (Figure 15.6). A true coelom arises entirely within the mesoderm germ layer. Animals such as earthworms, snails, insects, starfish, and vertebrates are all eucoelomates. A third group of triploblasts has a body cavity that is derived partly from mesoderm and partly from endoderm tissue. These animals are called pseudocoelomates. Roundworms are examples of pseudocoelomates. New data on the relationships of pseudocoelomates suggest that these phyla are not closely related and so the evolution of the pseudocoelom must have occurred more than once (Figure 15.3). True coelomates can be further characterized based on features of their early embryological development.
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