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A small phylum of minute multicellular aquatic animals which have a characteristic wheel-like ciliated organ used in swimming and feeding.
- ‘Substantial phylogenetic evidence from both morphology and molecular data indicates that acanthocephalans have a close evolutionary relationship with Rotifera.’
- ‘The remaining members of this novel metazoan clade were Rotifera, Acanthocephala (together Syndermata), and Cycliophora.’
- ‘Because the new taxon lacks syncytia, a key character for the Rotifera and Acanthocephala, the Micrognathozoa cannot be included in Syndermata.’
- ‘Evolutionary relationships within the phylum Rotifera are poorly understood despite the important role that they play in freshwater ecosystems.’
- ‘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.’
Modern Latin (plural), from Latin rota wheel + ferre to bear.
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