1A major division of the animal kingdom that comprises all animals other than protozoans and sponges. They are multicellular animals with differentiated tissues.
- Subkingdom Metazoa, kingdom Animalia.
- Not only Metazoa, but other multicellular clades such as Fungii and Metaphyta, must also be organized so that their basic body parts-differentiated cell types-are assembled into a hierarchy of functional associations.
- Now, based on the study with protein molecules, Fungi are regarded as the nearest-neighbor kingdom of the Metazoa, a conclusion which is supported by others.
- Belt desmosomes are the constituent character of the Epitheliazoa, the next higher taxon above the Porifera within the Metazoa, comprising the taxa Placozoa and Eumetazoa.
Modern Latin (plural), from meta- (expressing change) + zōia (plural of zōion 'animal').
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