By C. R. Kennedy

Acanthocephalans, or spiny-headed worms, are endoparasites present in just about all marine, freshwater and terrestrial platforms. They infect a big variety of definitive and intermediate hosts, in the course of their lifestyles 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 signify a different and substitute pathway of parasite evolution and host parasite-interactions. Written for graduate scholars and researchers in parasitology, ecology and zoology or somebody attracted to examining approximately parasite ecology and evolution.

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1998) on a sample of Caretta caretta revealed no acanthocephalans. The authors believed that marine turtles had an association with their parasites largely independent of that of other marine hosts and that helminth communities were depauperate and dominated by digeneans. , 1992). , 1994): Balbuena & Raga reported that Bolbosoma capitulum may be the most prevalent species in long-finned pilot whales, although they are less abundant than digeneans. , 2002b) and indeed these may be the only helminth species present in some populations (O’Neill & Whelan, 2002).

This species is also reported to use a species of snail as a paratenic host, a choice unique among acanthocephalans. Even more surprising is the fact that Hopp (1954) was able to show that cystacanths from snails were infective to turtles, but not cystacanths from ostracods. This would indicate that the snail is not, in fact, a paratenic host at all but a true intermediate host which is required for the cystacanth to complete development. This would therefore seem to be the only example known to date in which an acanthocephalan life cycle requires two intermediate hosts, one of which is not an arthropod.

7 Canada cc, component communities; ss, fish species. Source: Data from Choudhury & Dick (2000). 5. Helminth species of pinnipeds and cetaceans at different latitudes Latitude Acanthocephalans Trematodes Cestodes Nematodes Total Arctic 3 6 7 9 25 Boreal 9 30 24 31 94 Tropical 4 7 2 18 31 Antiboreal 8 0 9 21 38 Antarctic 1 1 7 5 14 Source: Data from Dogiel (1964). Seventeen species were listed by Dogiel (1964) as occurring in pinnipeds and cetaceans, of which eight were found in the northern hemisphere only, five in the southern hemisphere only and four in both hemispheres.

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