ZOOPHYTE, n. [Gr., an animal; a plant.] In natural history, a body supposed to partake of the nature both of an animal and a vegetable, such as madrepores, millepores, corallines, &c.
ZO'O-PHYTE, n. [Gr. ζωον, an animal, and φυτον, a plant.]
- In natural history, a body resembling an animal and a vegetable, and once supposed to partake of the nature of both, such as madrepores, millepores, corallines, &c. – Cyc.
- An animal supposed, but in all probability incorrectly, to be composed very nearly of a homogeneous pulp, which is movable and sensible. Zoophytes have an internal cavity for the reception and digestion of food. Some zoophytes are naked and locomotive, and some have horny, or stony habitations, which they never leave, and which are shaped somewhat like leafless shrubs and trees, or like the skeletons of leaves. It is their habitations only, that have any resemblance to plants.
- 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.