Definitions for acanthocephala
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word acanthocephala
Acanthocephala, phylum Acanthocephala(noun)
phylum or class of elongated wormlike parasites that live in the intestines of vertebrates: spiny-headed worms
a group of intestinal worms, having the proboscis armed with recurved spines
Origin: [NL., from Gr. a spine, thorn + head.]
Acanthocephala is a phylum of parasitic worms known as acanthocephalans, thorny-headed worms, or spiny-headed worms, characterized by the presence of an evertable proboscis, armed with spines, which it uses to pierce and hold the gut wall of its host. Acanthocephalans have complex life cycles, involving at least two hosts, which may include invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, birds, and mammals. About 1150 species have been described. The Acanthocephala were thought to be a discrete phylum. Recent genome analysis has shown that they are descended from, and should be considered as, highly modified rotifers. This is an example of molecular phylogenetics. This unified taxon is known as Syndermata.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A phylum of parasitic worms, closely related to tapeworms and containing two genera: Moniliformis, which sometimes infects man, and Macracanthorhynchus, which infects swine.
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