“I thought it was an old tire.”
from Wikipedia: “The siphonophores, are an order of the Hydrozoa, a class of marine animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria. Although a siphonophore appears to be a single organism, each specimen is actually a colony composed of many individual animals. Most colonies are long, thin, transparent pelagic floaters. Some siphonophores superficially resemble jellyfish. The best known species is the dangerous Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis). […] Siphonophores are of special scientific interest because they are composed of medusoid and polypoid zooids that are morphologically and functionally specialized. Each zooid is an individual, but their integration with each other is so strong, the colony attains the character of one large organism. Indeed, most of the zooids are so specialized, they lack the ability to survive on their own. This is somewhat analogous to the construction and function of multicellular organisms; because multicellular organisms have cells which, like zooids, are specialized and interdependent, siphonophores may provide clues regarding their evolution.”
Personal note: I am going to admit I had no idea a thing like this actually existed. I am given to thinking about things like the courses evolution might take in certain situation, and one of these courses I imagined would be several distinct organisms coming together in very strong symbiosis to create a colony like this. But I had no idea it’d actually happened. I am not surprised that it has, however.
There is very little, next to nothing, that we can think of, that the Universe hasn’t already created. And perfected.
greendragon-threebroomsticks you or someone you know might like this.