From today's featured article
Gigantorhynchus is a genus of thorny-headed worms that parasitize marsupials, anteaters, and possibly baboons by attaching themselves to the intestines using their hook-covered proboscis. The life cycle includes a larval stage in an intermediate host such as termites. In addition to the proboscis, the body is characterized by pseudosegmentation, filiform lemnisci, and ellipsoid testes. The largest known specimen is a female G. ortizi (example pictured) with a length of around 240 millimetres (9.4 in) and a width of 2 millimetres (0.079 in). Genetic analysis on one species of Gigantorhynchus places it with the related Mediorhynchus genus in the Giganthorhynchidae family. There are six species in this genus distributed across Central and South America and possibly Zimbabwe. Infestation by a Gigantorhynchus species can cause potentially fatal partial obstructions of the intestines or severe lesions of the intestinal wall. (Full article...)
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