The small individual organisms that compose colonial ones.
Some examples are the amoebae that constitute the collective form of the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum; or the thousands of small animals that compose the Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia).
It is in fact their integration in a functional individual on a higher level of complexity at which they interact in new emerging specific ways which differentiate the zooids from similar elements in a more autonomous condition.
The extensive use of the term has been sometimes criticized. However, each organism is in fact a collectivity, whether of cells, or of more complex individuals, as in a beehive or a swarm of ants… or human societies.
At the living systems level, zooids are similar to particles in atoms, atoms in simple or more complex molecules and organic molecules as living matter components.
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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