What's inside a fuel filter?

This design is open on both ends, a bolt passes through the center and clamps an end cap on the filter bottom. Many others are spin on and closed on the end, they look just like oil filters.

I couldn’t see any of the filter media inside to see how dirty it was so I cut the filter open to have a look. The filter cartridge inside is very similar to a Racor element, except the end caps are steel. (The filter was very dirty)