The word, protista, means "the very first" as they are the first eukaryotes (eukaryotes that are not members of the plant, animal, or fungi kingdoms). Protista can be multicellular or unicellular.
Protista are hard to classify since they exhibit some characteristics of other kingdoms but not all of the characteristics. One way to classify:
- Animal-like protists: heterotrophs
- Plant-like protists: autotrophs
- Fungi-like protists: decomposers (heterotrophs)
Protozoa are classified by their movement.
|Type of Protozoa||Movement||Things to Note|
|Zooflagellates||Have flagella||Have no chlorophyll or other photosynthetic chemicals|
|Sarcodines||Cytoplasmic streaming through pseudopods||Amoeba|
|Ciliates||Have cilia (small hairs that accommodate movement)||Paramecium|
|Sporozoans||Sessile||Many are disease-causing, such as malaria.|
Unicellular Algae (Plant-like Protista)
|Type of Algae||Features||Other Things to Note|
|Euglenophytes||Have flagella for movement; eyespot to help find the sun||Euglena|
|Chrysophytes||"Golden plants"; gold-toned chloroplasts|
|Diatoms||Thin, delicate cell walls of silicon||Glass-like appearance|
|Dinoflagellates||Half photosynthetic, half heterotrophic||Many give off light|
Red, Brown and Green Algae (Plant-like Protista)
|Type of Algae||Type of Chlorophyll||Other things to Note|
|Red Algae||Chlorophyll a (absorbs blue light, reflects red)||Can live in deep, ocean waters.|
|Brown Algae||Chlorophyll a and c||Grows in shallow waters, EX: Giant Kelp.|
|Green Algae||Chlorophyll a and b||Most like actual land plants; can be unicellular (some freshwater algae) or multicellular|
Fungus-like Protista contain centrioles while true fungi don't. True fungi also have chitin, or fungi cell walls, while the fungus-like Protista don't. Although the differences, both are them are decomposers.
Slime molds are fungus-like Protista that help recycle organic matter. These molds look like ameobas and form mold-like clumps.
Water molds are fungus-like Protista that thrives on dead or decaying matter in water---an example of this is the white fuzz that is present on dead fish.
|Asexual Reproduction||Sexual Reproduction|
|Binary Fission- when an organism will copy its DNA and then divide to produce two identical daughters.||Conjugation - when 2 organisms line up side by side to exchange genetic material through a conjugation tube.|
|Alternation of Generations - alternate between haploid and diploid statuses.|
- Ecological Impact
- Help recycle organic matter (decomposers)
- Indication of water quality: too much algea means the water is polluted.
- Agents of Disease
- Plant-like products serve to be producers in many food chains.
- Human Impact
- Food Source (ice cream)
- Other Protista's eat each other, reducing the population of Protista.
- Different types of medicines are made by doctors or scientists to kill Protista's in the Human Body.
Most protists are aquatic little creatures, and they usually live in places and locations where they are more water, some examples are: Oceans, Lakes, Swamps, Short Streams, Gardens, Seas, Ponds and more.
Picture or Physical Description (include color)
- Mostly purple
Usually, if caught in an animal's body, the Protista would eat the animal's digestive system and body parts, thus, leading to death for the poor animal. Also, if not in animal's body, it would eat each Protista.
Specialized Body Parts
- Cilia - Cilia are microscopic Hairs which are used for launching.
- Flagella - Flagella are propellers used for jumping to move far.
- Pseudopodia - Pseudopodia is the projection they use, they use this tool to move around.