Protist are considered the oldest living organisms. Protists are organisms that do not fit into any other group because they do not have characteristics that are common with plants, animals or fungi.
Protists are eukaryotic microorganisms and they have a simple cell structure.
Characteristics of Protists
Protists are classified by how they move. Some protists use tiny hair like substances to move through liquids. This is the same type of hair, cilia, that is found in a person’s nose.
Some protists have long tails and the tail can move around and help the protists move. The tail like structure is called flagella.
Other protists move by scooting or oozing. These types of protists, such as amoebas, use pseudopodia to move.
Protists eat differently. Some protists actually eat food and digest it inside of their organism, while others digest food outside of their organism and use enzymes to break the food down.
After the food is broken down, the protists eat the food that is now partially digested. Other protists use photosynthesis and make their own food.
Types of Protists
There are different types of protists such as algae, mold, and amoebas.
Algae is a very known protist and this is one type of protist that gets food from photosynthesis.
Algae have chlorophyll that makes them green and they use sunlight to help them to make their food, but they are not considered a plant because they do not have tissues that are like a plant.
Algae are different colors such as green, brown, and red.
Mold is another type of protist that is also fungus. Some of the protists are unicellular which means that they only have one cell, and other molds are plasmodial which means that they are made from just one super large cell.
The plasmodial molds can get very large and very wide.
Amoebas are the third type of protists. Amoebas are unicellular organisms and the move by using pseudopods, or by using ooze to get around.
Amoebas have no shape and they eat their food with their bodies. Amoebas reproduce by splitting in two through a process called mitosis. Mitosis is when the cell divides into two parts.
Facts About the Protist Kingdom:
- Protists are sometimes pathogens and they make humans sick.
- Malaria was caused by protists.
- When an Amoeba splits, the side with the nucleus will live and the side without the nucleus will die.
- Seaweed is a protist alga that grows in moist places.
What Did You Learn?
- How do protists move? Protists move in different ways, some use cilia, which are hairs to move, others use flagella, which are like tails or fingers to move and some use pseudopods, which are like scooting or oozing around.
- Are protists dangerous? Some protists are dangerous to humans because they can be pathogens and cause diseases.
- What type of protists has no shape and moves around using a pseudopod? Amoebas are protists that have no shape and move around using pseudopods.
- What type of protist is also a fungus? Mold is both a fungus and a protist.
- Do all protists eat the same? No. Some protists actually digest their food inside their bodies, while other protists digest their food outside of their bodies.
Back to – Biology