Definition of Acanthocephala in English:

Acanthocephala

plural noun

Zoology
  • A small phylum of parasitic invertebrates that comprises the thorny-headed worms.

    • ‘Nielsen and Nielsen et al. come to generally comparable results, although sometimes the additional taxa Rotifera, Acanthocephala and Chaetognatha were included in Aschelminthes.’
    • ‘The dotted line with a question mark denotes the suggestion of Ahlrichs that Acanthocephala and Seisonida are sister groups.’
    • ‘Although the ICL has little taxonomic significance, it is synapomorphic with phylum Acanthocephala, indicating a close phylogenetic relationship.’
    • ‘Because the new taxon lacks syncytia, a key character for the Rotifera and Acanthocephala, the Micrognathozoa cannot be included in Syndermata.’
    • ‘However, the relationship between Rotifera and Acanthocephala has not been resolved.’
    • ‘An earlier study using morphological evidence hypothesized that Acanthocephala is the sister taxon of the rotifer class Bdelloidea, making Rotifera paraphyletic.’
    • ‘Limnognathia maerski has dorsal plates formed by an intracellular matrix, as in Rotifera and Acanthocephala, but ventrally the epidermis is ‘naked’ only with a thin glycocalyx.’
    • ‘Like the Acanthocephala, they are probably evil rotifers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Also, within Acanthocephala there have been multiple shifts between aquatic and terrestrial intermediate and definitive hosts.’
    • ‘Significant amounts of character loss versus character innovation is expected if the evolution of parasitism in Acanthocephala is truly ‘degenerative.’’
    • ‘Rotifera and Acanthocephala comprise a monophyletic group with high bootstrap pseudoreplicate recovery and decay score.’
    • ‘The shift between aquatic and terrestrial hosts in Acanthocephala is probably driven by availability of appropriate arthropod intermediate hosts in the particular habitat.’
    • ‘Traditionally, the taxonomic groups in Acanthocephala have been identified based on morphological features and host characteristics.’
    • ‘The remaining members of this novel metazoan clade were Rotifera, Acanthocephala (together Syndermata), and Cycliophora.’
    • ‘However, our molecular data show they may be related to Rotifers + Acanthocephala inside the taxon Gnathifera.’
    • ‘Perversely, they failed to include any sequences from rotifers, gnathostomulids, chaetognaths, or, in fact, anything that might actually be comparable to Acanthocephala.’
    • ‘The 18S rRNA inferred phylogeny provides a framework to investigate the evolutionary diversification of features associated with parasitism in Acanthocephala.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

Acanthocephala

/əˌkanθə(ʊ)ˈsɛfələ/