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By C. R. Kennedy

Acanthocephalans, or spiny-headed worms, are endoparasites present in just about all marine, freshwater and terrestrial platforms. They infect an immense diversity of definitive and intermediate hosts, in the course of their existence cycles, together with either vertebrates and arthropods. This quantity examines the distribution and abundance of the Acanthocephala, and makes use of this ecological details to bare the group's huge, immense survival luck. It discusses how the acanthocephalans have developed in a different way to all different teams of parasites, and symbolize a unique and replacement pathway of parasite evolution and host parasite-interactions. Written for graduate scholars and researchers in parasitology, ecology and zoology or someone attracted to interpreting approximately parasite ecology and evolution.

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A, adult; u, not determined in study. Duration times are the minimum. Source: From Nickol, (2003) and McCormick & Nickol (2004). 25 26 Life cycles and transmission a copepod, or to the use of a paratenic host as none is known in the cycle. In fact the explanation lay in cannibalism, as larger fish consumed more fish of their own species. The potential significance of this form of transmission is that, as with the use of a paratenic host, the parasite can move up trophic levels and be transferred to new host groups at these levels that might otherwise be unavailable as hosts.

1991, and Ibragimov, 1985, respectively). Over evolutionary time, it seems probable that the herptiles have captured Neoechinorhynchus species from fish and aquatic birds. , 1990). As noted for other groups by these same authors, fish have never captured acanthocephalans from other groups as captures always seem to have proceeded from the older group to the younger ones. Multiple congeners may also occur among the acanthocephalans (Fig. , 2004), but these are not truly species flocks as identified in other groups of parasites by Kennedy & Bush (1992).

Archiacanthocephalans are terrestrial and as adults infect terrestrial vertebrates: the intermediate hosts of the species in this class are terrestrial arthropods belonging to several insect orders including Coleoptera, Dermaptera and Orthoptera, and some species may use Myriapoda. Members of the aquatic Eoacanthocephala generally use aquatic crustaceans, chiefly Ostracoda, as their intermediate hosts, although a few species have been reported from Copepoda and Amphipoda. The Palaeacanthocephala contain both aquatic and terrestrial members: the former generally use aquatic isopods or amphipods as intermediate hosts and the latter may do the same or use terrestrial amphipods.

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