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zootypeZootyp (ger.)

  • 1) An animal, or figure of one, used as the type of a deity, as in Egyptian hieroglyphics. (OED)

    the rabbit was the zootype of the moon […] The lunar zootype then is male in front, and female in the hinder-part of the animal

    Massey, G. (1887). Luniolatry. Lucifer 1, 440-442: 440; 441. 


    The sow or pig amongst these people, as a zootype of the “Great Mother,” is quite understood by those who have learnt totemic ceremonies and Stellar-Myths.

    Churchward, A. (1911). Signs and symbols of primordial man. The British Medical Journal 1, 1212-1213: 1212.

  • 2) The characteristic devlopmental pattern of animals.

    We propose that an animal is an organism that displays a particular spatial pattern of gene expression, and we define this pattern as the zootype [...]. The zootype is expressed most clearly at a particular stage of embryonic development: the phylotypic stage for each individual taxon

    Slack, J.M.W., Holland, P.W.H. & Graham, C.F. (1993). The zootype and the phylotypic stage. Nature 361, 490-492: 490.