Protists Print Friendly and PDF

Google Slides: Kingdom Protista

Protists belong to the Kingdom Protista, which includes mostly unicellular organisms that do not fit into the other kingdoms.

Characteristics of Protists

Protista = the very first

Classification of Protists

Animallike Protists - also called protozoa (means "first animal") - heterotrophs
Plantlike Protists - also called algae - autotrophs
Funguslike Protists - heterotrophs, decomposers, external digestion

.Animallike Protists: Protozoans

Four Phyla of Animallike Protists

Classified by how they move


move using one or two flagella
absorb food across membrane




Ameba (See Ameba Coloring Sheet)

moves using pseudopodia ( "false feet" ), which are like extensions of the cytoplasm --ameboid movement
ingests food by surrounding and engulfing food (endocytosis), creating a food vacuole
reproducing by binary fission (mitosis)
contractile vacuole - removes excess water
can cause amebic dysentery in humans - diarrhea and stomach upset from drinking contaminated water
Other sarcodines: Foraminferans, Heliozoans



Paramecium (See Paramecium Coloring Sheet)

move using cilia
has two nuclei: macronucleus, micronucleus
food is gathered through the :mouth pore, moved into a gullet, forms a food vacuole
anal pore is used for removing waste
contractile vacuole removes excess water
exhibits avoidance behavior
reproduces asexually (binary fission) or sexually (conjugation)
outer membrane -pellicle- is rigid and paramecia are always the same shape, like a shoe


Pond Life Video Gallery


do not move on their own
Malaria is a sporozoan, infects the liver and blood


More Notes

Animallike Protists and Disease
Plantlike Protists: Unicellular Algae