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Some trilobites sported dual digestive systems.

Some trilobites scurrying across the seafloor around 500 million years ago had two-lane digestive tracts. Michael Rutana of Ohio State University studied eight trilobite fossils. Using a CT scanner, he blasted each specimen with X-rays to create a 3-D density map. Because a trilobite's fossilized body is denser than the stomach cavity, Rutana could trace the digestive system as a dark line from mouth to anus. Two trilobites had odd digestive diagrams not seen in modern animals: two parallel tracts forking from the stomach and reconnecting at the anus. Rutana said October 21 that he thinks the two pathways could have boosted nutrient absorption by increasing the amount of surface area in contact with food.

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Title Annotation:MEETING NOTES
Author:Sumner, Thomas
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 29, 2014
Words:115
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