Zoophyte Quotes (5 quotes)
[Zoophytes (Protists, or simple life forms) are] the primitive types from which all the organisms of the higher classes had arisen by gradual development.
Are coral reefs growing from the depths of the oceans? ... [The] reply is a simple negative; and a single fact establishes its truth. The reef-forming coral zoophytes, as has been shown, cannot grow at greater depths than 100 or 120 feet; and therefore in seas deeper than this, the formation or growth of reefs over the bottom is impossible.
In every living being there exists a capacity for endless diversity of form; each possesses the power of adapting its organization to the variations of the external world, and it is this power, called into activity by cosmic changes, which has enabled the simple zoophytes of the primitive world to climb to higher and higher stages of organization, and has brought endless variety into nature.
The book of Nature is the book of Fate. She turns the gigantic pages,—leaf after leaf,—never re-turning one. One leaf she lays down, a floor of granite; then a thousand ages, and a bed of slate; a thousand ages, and a measure of coal; a thousand ages, and a layer of marl and mud: vegetable forms appear; her first misshapen animals, zoophyte, trilobium, fish; then, saurians,—rude forms, in which she has only blocked her future statue, concealing under these unwieldy monsters the fine type of her coming king. The face of the planet cools and dries, the races meliorate, and man is born. But when a race has lived its term, it comes no more again.
Why does such and such animal feed only on flesh, while another on plants? Where does one get the finesse of its sense of smell, or that of its hearing? What is the source of the prodigious strength of the muscles of birds? How is this force used to produce this amazing movement of flight? How does it come about that the bird sees equally well at quite different distances? What is the cause of the range and variety of its voice? Why is a reptile so lethargic? Why does a worm stay alive long after being divided? Why can a zoophyte live equally well with some parts of its body cut off? Is it presumed there could be natural history without these questions, and thousands of others like them, and do we think we can answer without a thorough comparative anatomy?