As food particles pass in through the mouth they become enveloped in a slimy substance (secreted by the endostyle) and conveyed down the gut by the action of the vibratile cilia as a continuous food-rope, the peristaltic movements of the gut-wall being very feeble.
The ventral branchial vessel lies below the hypobranchial groove or endostyle, and is the representative of a heart.
(After Rathke, slightly altered.) m, Mouth appearing as an elongated slit when relaxed (as in the lamprey); p, perforated pharynx; e, endostyle; g, gonads; 1, liver; at, level of atriopore; intestine; an, anus.
- a, Atrium; al, alimentary canal; y blood-vessel; cv, cerebral vesicle; df, dorsal section of myocoel (= fin spaces); e, " eyespot"; end, endostyle; gl, club-shaped gland; lm, edge of left metapleur; m, lower edge of mouth; n, notochord; nt, pigmented nerve tube; ps, primary gill-slits, I, 9, and 14; rc, renal cells on atrial floor; rm, edge of right metapleur; so, sense organ opening into praeoral pit; ss, thickenings, the rudiments of the row of secondary gill-slits.
One point must not be omitted, namely, the homogeny of the endostyle of Amphioxus and the thyroid gland of Craniata.