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Because most protists are unicellular, they are considered to be the simplest eukaryotes. However, this is ironic because at the cellular level, they are the most complex.
Protists were discovered in 1866 and divided into groups that related them to the other kingdoms: “animal- like”, “plant- like”, and “fungus- like”.
Protists live in almost any environment containing water. They are essential primary producers in marine environments.
Protista is sometimes referred to as the “odds and ends” kingdom because they are made up of everything else that is not a bacteria, animal, plant, or fungi.
The only thing that protists have in common is that they are either unicellular, or multicellular but lacking specialized tissues. It is a very diverse kingdom.
Protista can reproduce either sexually or asexually. Some have even been discovered to do both.
Some protists have a cell wall.
Kelps and seaweed are considered protists, not plants.
Protists cause diseases such as malaria and the African Sleeping Sickness.
Protista- Interesting Facts
Euglena is a type of protist that contains a special red organelle called an eyespot. This eyespot detects light and helps the protist look for its food.
Plankton, which is a protist, produce about half of the world’s organic matter through photosynthesis.
All eukaryotes are thought to have evolved from protists. Protists were the first eukaryotes to differentiate themselves from prokaryotes.
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