One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a plant or animal) growing or living non-parasitically on the exterior of a living animal.
- ‘In marine systems, where soft sediment bottoms are common, hard substrates represent islands, supporting a variety of obligate epiphytic and epizoic taxa (encrusters).’
- ‘Long-stalked glandular hairs of outer and inner involucral bracts of Sigesbeckia jorullensis, which are important for epizoic fruit propagation, were investigated using light and scanning electron microscopy.’
Mid 19th century: from epi- ‘upon’ + Greek zōion ‘animal’ + -ic.
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