Gastrovascular cavities, as the name suggests, function in both digestion and the transport of nutrients to all parts of the body. Organisms belonging to two major phyla, the Cnidaria and the Platyhelminthes, all possesses gastrovasular cavities.
These radially symmetrical animals have a saclike body two layers of cells, with a jellylike layer between them. Within the central cavity of this saclike body, extracellular digestion takes place. This cavity has only one opening to the outside, which is surrounded by tentacles that act to capture prey. Therefore a digestive cavity with a single opening that functions as both mouth and anus is called a gastrovascular cavity.
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