Definition of Acanthocephala in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˌkanθə(ʊ)ˈsɛfələ/
Pronunciation: /əˌkanθə(ʊ)ˈkɛfələ/

plural noun

A small phylum of parasitic invertebrates that comprises the thorny-headed worms.
Example sentences
  • Nielsen and Nielsen et al. come to generally comparable results, although sometimes the additional taxa Rotifera, Acanthocephala and Chaetognatha were included in Aschelminthes.
  • Micrognathozoa lack this characteristic feature and, therefore, are postulated to be more basal in the Gnathifera, as a sister-group either to Gnathostomulida or Rotifera / Acanthocephala.
  • The sister - group relationship between Gnathostomulida and Rotifera + Acanthocephala was first mentioned by Rieger and Tyler.



adjective& noun
Example sentences
  • Alewives caught off the Atlantic coast were found to host the following parasites: acanthocephalans, cestode, trematodes, copepods, and nematodes.
  • However, among helminth parasites, e.g., trematodes, cestodes, nematodes, and acanthocephalans, this is not the case.
  • Parsimony analyses recover a paraphyletic Rotifera, where a bdelloid rotifer and acanthocephalans form a monophyletic clade.


adjective& noun
Example sentences
  • Numerous acanthocephalids are also attached to the mucosa of the cecum and the cecal-colic junction.


Modern Latin (plural), from acantho- 'thornlike' + Greek kephalē 'head'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Acan¦tho|ceph¦ala

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