acanthocephalan

Science Dictionary
acanthocephalan   (ə-kān'thə-sěf'ə-lən)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various, mostly small worms of the phylum Acanthocephala that live parasitically in arthropods as juveniles and in the intestines of vertebrates (especially fish) as adults. Acanthocephalans have a cylindrical, retractile proboscis that has rows of hooked spines and is used for attachment to a host. Also called spiny-headed worm.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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