Kingdom Protista Characteristics

  • Members of this kingdom are often microscopic (unicellular).
  • Some protists can make their own food; others cannot.
  • Some protists display much movement; others show little movement.

Protista Classification

  • Most are microscopic, one-celled organisms.
  • Some form colonies of many cells.
  • They may have qualities of both animals and plants.
  • Some make their own food through photosynthesis.
  • Many have movement.
  • Protozoans - "Animal-like" protists


  • They are members of the protista kingdom which act like plants.
  • Algaes are also found in the Moneran and Plant kingdoms.
  • Possess more "plant-like" characteristics.
  • Other "algaes" are grouped with the monerans and others with plants.
  • Vary in color and often named by its color.
  • Most live in water, some on damp surfaces.
  • Make up a large part of the plankton of the oceans, which feed the zooplankton, which in turn are food for larger animals like whales.
  • All algae contain chlorophyll and carry on photosynthesis.



  • Most are unicellular
  • Possess movement like animals
  • Move by using whip like tail called flagellum (one only)
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Euglenoid Parts:
    • Nucleus
    • Chloroplasts
    • Flagellum
    • Eye spot
    • Cell membrane

Diatoms - Chrysophyta (golden algae)

  • Golden brown algae
  • Two part shell of silicon (glass)
  • Food stored as oil.
  • Responsible for most oil consumed today.

Dinoflagellates - Pyrophyta

  • Surrounded with "plates"
  • Has two flagella
  • Phosphorescent algae
  • Responsible for "red tides"
  • Contains toxins.

Protozoans - "Animal-like" protista

  • All those members of the protista kingdom which act like animals
  • Cannot make their own food
  • Most display a great deal of movement
  • Protozoans
  • Possess many "Animal-like" characteristics
  • Particularly movement
  • Many relationships: free living, parasitic, saprophytic, mutualistic
  • Often classified by how they move
    • Amoeba - moves with Pseudopods (false feet)
    • Paramecium - moves with cilia (short hairs)
    • Flagellate - moves with flagellum (whip-like tail)
    • Sporozoans - produce spores

Phylum Sarcodina

  • Pseudopods (false feet) projections of cytoplasm.
  • Some surrounded by a calcium "shell"
  • Amoeba has no definite shape
  • Amoeba Parts:
    • Nucleus
    • Pseudopods
    • Food Vacuole
    • Cell membrane
    • Pseudopods
  • Amoeba Movement:
    • Pseudopods
    • Shape is constantly changing
    • Food is surrounded by pseudopods and stored in a food vacuole


Moves using cilia - short hairs lining cell


  • Paramecium Parts
    • Macro nucleus
    • Micronucleus
    • Cilia
    • Food Vacuole
    • Contractile Vacuole
    • Oral Groove
    • Cell membrane

Other Ciliophora

  • Stentor
  • Vorticella
  • Spinostomium

Flagellates - move like the Euglena

  • Mastigophora
  • Often have more than one flagellum
  • The organism which causes African sleeping sickness - carried by the tse tse fly
  • Some live in the digestive tracts of termites and assist in the digestion of cellulose.


Sporozoans - produce spores

  • Sporozoans
  • Passive movement (none)
  • The organism which causes Malaria

Fungus Like Protists

  • They are those members of the protista kingdom which act like fungus.
  • Small group
  • Often brightly colored
  • Slime Molds
  • Myxomycota
  • Multicellular
  • Change form during life cycle
  • Tend to live in damp locations
  • The three stages are similar to that of other organisms.

slime mold







Opalina ranarum