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any of about 70 species of tiny parasites belonging to the Pentastomida, usually considered a class. Pentastomids are considered to lie between annelids and arthropods in evolutionary development. They range from a few millimetres to 14 cm (about 6 inches) in length and lack respiratory, circulatory, and excretory organs

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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