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Biology of the Acanthocephala

edited by D. W. T. Crompton and B. B. Nickol. xi + 519 pages, illustrated. Cambridge University Press, 32 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022. 1985. $89.50.

Paul C. BeaverDepartment of Tropical Medicine, Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

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This book had its origins in a symposium held in December 1983 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the completion of a two-volume monograph on the Acanthocephala by Anton Meyer, and to acknowledge appreciation of the monumental works of Harley Jones Van Cleave. The scope and significance of the contributions of these stalwarts are reviewed in introductory chapters, respectively by D. W. T. Crompton and Wilbur Bullock, who for many years have themselves been major contributors to the Acanthocephala literature. The intent of the symposium, and the book, was to summarize the knowledge that had accumulated over the previous 50 years on all aspects of the biology of the Acanthocephala. This was admirably accomplished in chapters on classification by Omar Amin, functional morphology by D. M. Miller and T. T. Dunagan, feeding, nutrition, and metabolism by Jane Starling, reproduction by D. W. T. Crompton, development and life cycles by Gerald Schmidt, epizootiology by Brent Nichols, life history models by A. P. Dobson and A. E. Keymer, and regulation and dynamics of acanthocephalan populations by C. H. Kennedy.