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spiny-headed worm

[spahy-nee-hed-id] /ˈspaɪ niˌhɛd ɪd/
any of a small group of endoparasites of the phylum Acanthocephala, as larvae parasitic in insects and crustaceans and as adults in various vertebrates.
1945-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spiny-headed worm
  • In a species of spiny-headed worm, males use their cements on each other, trying to gum up their rivals.
spiny-headed worm in Medicine

spiny-headed worm spin·y-head·ed worm (spī'nē-hěd'ĭd)
See Acanthocephala.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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spiny-headed worm in Science
spiny-headed worm
See acanthocephalan.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for spiny-headed worm


any animal of the invertebrate phylum Acanthocephala. A proboscis, or snout, which bears hooks, gives the group its name. There are about 600 recorded species, all of which are parasites in vertebrates (usually fish) as adults and in arthropods as juveniles. The adults are usually less than 1 cm (0.4 inch) in length, but some reach 50 cm (about 20 inches) or more. Spiny-headed worms are found throughout the world

Learn more about acanthocephalan with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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