Definition of mesozoan in English:


Line breaks: meso|zoan
Pronunciation: /ˌmɛsəˈzəʊən
, ˌmiːz-/


A minute worm which is an internal parasite of marine invertebrates. It lacks any internal organs other than reproductive cells, and dissolved nutrients are absorbed directly from the host’s tissues.
  • Phyla Orthonectida and Rhombozoa; formerly placed together in the phylum Mesozoa, which was thought to be intermediate between protozoans and metazoans
More example sentences
  • The major group of mesozoans, the Dicyemida, live as microscopic parasites in the renal organs of squid and octopuses.
  • The dicyemid mesozoans, once hypothesized to be non-bilaterian metazoans, have since been shown to possess central class Hox genes indicating that these enigmatic parasites are secondarily simplified bilaterians.
  • Hox evidence has also placed dicyemid mesozoans in the clade.


early 20th century: from modern Latin Mesozoa (from mesos 'intermediate' + zōion 'animal') + -an.

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