from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun An invertebrate animal, such as a sea anemone or a sponge, that superficially resembles a plant. Not in scientific use.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A member of the Zoöphyta, in any sense; a radiate; a phytozoan.
- noun The term is a loose popular equivalent of the technical designation; but it is convenient, and may be employed for any of the Zoöphyta in a proper sense, as corals, seaanemones, acalephs, and sponges. The chief objection to its use is its continued application to those polyzoans which are of coralline aspect, as these have no affinity with cœlenterates.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun Any one of numerous species of invertebrate animals which more or less resemble plants in appearance, or mode of growth, as the corals, gorgonians, sea anemones, hydroids, bryozoans, sponges, etc., especially any of those that form compound colonies having a branched or treelike form, as many corals and hydroids.
- noun Any one of the Zoöphyta.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun biology Any of various
invertebrate animalswhich resemble plants, such as sponges, coralsand sea anemones.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun any of various invertebrate animals resembling a plant such as a sea anemone or coral or sponge
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
The shores are mostly fringed with coral reefs, often half a mile in width, composed of cemented coral fragments, shells, sand, and a growing species of zoophyte.
But whatever improvement time has made in my health and nerves, it has made none in this wretched zoophyte village.
Certainly in this zoophyte such appeared to be the case.
In one zoophyte the head itself was fixed, but the lower jaw free: in another it was replaced by a triangular hood, with a beautifully-fitted trap-door, which evidently answered to the lower mandible.
Chance had thrown me just by the most precious specimens of the zoophyte.
I will state one other instance of uniform action, though of a very different nature, in a zoophyte closely allied to Clytia, and therefore very simply organised.
By this action, the highly elastic axis must be bent at the lower extremity, where it is naturally slightly curved; and I imagine it is by this elasticity alone that the zoophyte is enabled to rise again through the mud.
We may consider the polypi in a zoophyte, or the buds in a tree, as cases where the division of the individual has not been completely effected.
The fleshy appendage at the lower extremity of the sea-pen (described at Bahia Blanca) also forms part of the zoophyte, as a whole, in the same manner as the roots of a tree form part of the whole tree, and not of the individual leaf or flower-buds.
In these actions we apparently behold as perfect a transmission of will in the zoophyte, though composed of thousands of distinct polypi, as in any single animal.