Zooids by Aaron Ansarov

“These particular zooids, captured by fine-art macro photographer, Aaron Ansarov, are part of a series of four unique zooids called the dactylozooids (the hunters), gastrozooids (the eaters), gonozooids (the reproducers), and the pneumatophores (the sailors).

Each has its individual personality, but collectively exist as a single being with a shared goal of survival. Together, they are more commonly known as the Portuguese Man o’ War.”

Project Noah Fact of the Day: The familiar Portuguese man o’ war often found washed away on beaches is not a true jellyfish, but what is known as a siphonophore. Siphonophores are colonies of specialized modules, called zooids, connected to each other. The zooids are specialized (floating, feeding, defense, reproduction) and interdependent, and can’t survive on their own. The zooids which make up the Portuguese man o’ war’s stinging tentacles are known as dactylozooids, and can reach up to up to 50 m (160 ft) in length!
Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis) spotted in Mexico by Project Noah user Herb.