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zooidzoïde (fr.); Zooid (ger.)

  • Something that resembles an animal (but is not one in the strict or full sense): in early use applied somewhat widely, including, e.g., a free-moving animal or vegetable cell, as a spermatozoon or antherozooid; but chiefly restricted to an animal arising from another by asexual reproduction, i.e. budding (gemmation) or division (fission); spec. (and most usually) Each of the distinct beings or ‘persons’ which make up a compound or ‘colonial’ animal organism, and often have different forms and functions, thus more or less corresponding to the various organs in the higher animals. (OED 2011)
    individual zoon

    Zooide, adj., zooideus […]. Se dit d’un minéral dont la forme représente celle d’un animal entier ou d’une partie de quelque animal.

    Jourdan, A.-J.-L. (1834). Dictionnaire raisonné, étymologique, synonymique et polyglotte, des termes usités dans les sciences naturelles, vol. 2: 612.


    Zooid, etwas Thierähnliches, Thierförmiges.

    Anonymus (1836). Allgemeines deutsches Sach-Wörterbuch aller menschlichen Kenntnisse und Fertigkeiten oder Universal-Lexicon aller Künste und Wissenschaften, vol. 10: 556.


    if we examine several of the families of Chlorospermeæ, the oscillatoriæ, ulvaceæ, nostochineæ, &c., we find numerous zooid plants,

    Leidy, J. (1849). On the intimate structure and history of the articular cartilages. Amer. J. Med. Sci. 34, 277-294: 287.


    The term “zooid” has been devised; and as it has no theoretical meaning, but is merely intended to suggest two indisputable facts with regard to the creatures to which it is applied—namely that they are like individuals, and yet are not individuals, in the sense that one of the higher animals is an individual—its use does not appear to be open to any serious objection.Instead of saying then, that in a given species, there is an alternation of so many generations, we should say that the individual consists of so many zooids.

    Huxley, T.H. (1851). Report on the researches of Prof. Müller into the anatomy and development of the Echinoderms. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Zoology, Botany and Geology 8, 1-19: 15.


    When the forms of the Individual are independent it becomes desirable to have some special name by which we may denote them, so as to avoid the incessant ambiguity of the two senses of the word individual. For these forms the Lecturer some time ago proposed the name “Zöoid.” Thus the Salpa-individual is represented by two Zöoids; the Fluke by three; the Aphis by nine or eleven, &c.

    Huxley, T.H. (1852). Upon animal individuality. The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal 53, 172-177: 177.


    a zoological individual is constituted either by any such single animal as a mammal or bird, which may properly claim the title of a zoon, or by any such group of animals as the numerous Medusæ that have been developed from the same egg, which are to be severally distinguished as zooids.

    Spencer, H. (1864). The Principles of Biology, vol. 1: 205 (§73).