Siphonophores, Drifting Colonies of Life

Siphonophores and Pyrosomes are colonies of tiny organisms called zooids. They are one of nature’s most remarkable creatures. Individual zooids are tiny, often only a millimetre long. But when they come together, they can be found in immense sizes, with some able to grow to lengths of 130 feet (40 m). That makes them longer than the blue whale, which is often considered Earth’s largest animal.

Each zooid in a colony is a clone, but different groups of these clones take care of different functions. The man-of-war is made up of four separate sections called polyps, containing different varieties of zooids each specialised to fulfil a specific purpose in the siphonophore.

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