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A.Word.A.Day--zoophyte

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zoophyte (ZO-uh-fyt) noun

An animal (such as sponge, coral, sea anemone, etc.) resembling a plant.

[These invertebrate animals are attached to a surface and have a branched structure, hence zoophyte, literally animal plant, from Modern Latin zoophyton, from Greek zoophyton, from zoo- (animal) + phyton (plant).]

"Did you know that sponges were zoophytes, or that they had domestic lives as complicated as any soap opera character's?"
Philip Herter; Foreign Correspondence Series; St. Petersburg Times (Florida); Jun 9, 2002.

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