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MCAT Biology Question — Small Intestine

The epithelial lining of the small intestine forms from which germ layer?

I. Endoderm

II. Mesoderm

III. Ectoderm


A. I only

B. II only

C. III only

D. I and II

Click for Explanation

As a guideline for the MCAT, the ectoderm forms outer coverings of body, e.g. skin/hair/nails, and the nervous system. The endoderm forms the lining of the digestive tract and most of the liver and pancreas. Mesoderm forms everything in-between, e.g. muscle, bone, circulatory system, heart, spleen, gonads.

I. Endoderm

II. Mesoderm

III. Ectoderm


A. I only, correct.

B. II only, incorrect: The mesoderm forms the tissues between the body’s outer coverings and the lining of the digestive tract.

C. III only, incorrect: The ectoderm forms the body’s outer coverings and nervous system.

D. I and II, incorrect: On the MCAT, organs and tissues will derive from one layer only.

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