Wikipedia:Today's featured article/January 17, 2020

Apororhynchus hemignathi
Apororhynchus hemignathi

Apororhynchus is a genus of small, parasitic spiny-headed (or thorny-headed) worms, the only genus in the order Apororhynchida. A lack of features commonly found in Acanthocephala suggests an evolutionary branching from the other three orders of class Archiacanthocephala. The distinguishing features of this order are a highly enlarged proboscis containing small hooks, and differently structured musculature around this proboscis in its receptacle and receptacle protrusor. The genus contains six species that are distributed globally, being collected sporadically in Hawaii, Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. These worms exclusively parasitize birds by attaching themselves around the cloaca using their hooks and adhesives secreted from cement glands. The bird hosts are of different orders, including owls, waders, and passerines. Infection by an Apororhynchus species may cause enteritis and anemia. (Full article...)