Marine Mammal Parasite of the Month- August 2021 Reply – Nationwide Marine Life Heart

This month’s parasite was the Corynosoma enhydri, a member of the thorny-headed worm neighborhood that solely has one definitive host, the ocean otter. The one approach to decide if a sea otter is contaminated is thru a fecal prognosis or via a necropsy since this parasite doesn’t current any visible indicators of an infection within the host. Nevertheless, as with all parasites, a heavy load will trigger emaciation and lethargy. There are a lot of several types of thorny-headed worms, or acanthocephalans, and so they infect a wide range of marine species together with pinnipeds, cetaceans, mollusks, fish, and otariids. All of them look comparatively related, with an elongated, cylindrical physique that varieties one bigger finish and one smaller finish. Out of the bigger finish sticks a small thorny appendage, usually known as a hook. That is the half the place the parasite will get its widespread title as a result of it does appear to be a thorn popping out of its head. This a part of the parasite will burrow into the small intestines of their host and keep hooked up there. For sea otters, these parasite burrow into the liner of the small gut, and in extreme instances, can undergo the liner of the small gut and into different physique cavities and elements.


Berman, J. J. (2012). Acanthocephala. Acanthocephala – an outline | ScienceDirect Subjects.

Mayer, Ok. A., Dailey, M. D., & Miller, M. A. (2003). Helminth parasites of the southern sea otter Enhydra LUTRIS Nereis in CENTRAL California: ABUNDANCE, distribution and pathology. Ailments of Aquatic Organisms, 53, 77–88.

Shanebeck, Ok. M., Lakemeyer, J., Siebert, U., & Lehnert, Ok. (2020). Novel infections of

Corynosoma enhydri and Profilicollis sp. (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) recognized in sea otters Enhydra lutris. Ailments of aquatic organisms, 137(3), 239–246.


Posted by summer season intern Abby C.

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