By: Garrett Rogers

What is a protist?

A protist is a single celled eukaryotic organism that cannot be categorized as an animal nor a plant. They can hunt like animals, have chloroplasts and use photosynthesis to make food, or it can do both. A protist has a nucleus and other organelles.


The paramecium is an animal-like protist. It uses cilia to move around and also uses them to create a sort of whirlpool effect. The whirlpool effect causes its food to be pulled into its oral groove. The paramecium reproduces by either sexual or asexual reproduction. It can either share its DNA with another paramecium or it can split itself into two parts. It will bend itself in a certain way to escape a negative or bad stimulus if it is cornered by the stimulus.


The amoeba is another animal-like protist. It has something called a pseudopod that it uses by extending its cytoplasm and creating a "false foot" that it moves with. The amoeba also uses its pseudopod to engulf its food and eat it. The amoeba goes through a process called "Binary Fission" to reproduce. During binary fission, the amoeba splits itself into two copies of itself. The amoeba and other protists all respond to their environment and they all live in stagnant water. If the lake or pond that the amoeba lives in gets dried up during a drought, the amoeba will turn itself into a cyst or a hard shell.


The euglena is a protist that has a little red eyespot that it uses to find light. The Euglena is more plant-like in the sense that it makes its own food using it chloroplasts. If it does not have any light, the Euglena can absorb its nutrients from its environment. It moves around using its tail like flagella. The flagella propels the Euglena around, using it like a whip. The Euglena is similar to the amoeba in the fashion that it also does Binary Fission to reproduce.

The Volvox

The volvox is a very interesting and different protist. They are found in large colonies of 500 to 2,000 volvox. They have two little tiny flagella that propels it as if the flagella were little rotors. Like the Euglena, it uses photosynthesis to make food with its chloroplasts. But they do not reproduce like any of the three protists listed above. They instead have little daughter colonies that they release when they think that the colonies are mature enough.

A Short List of Other Protists

  • Stentor
  • Hydra
  • Water Flea


These are just a few Christmas songs to get you into the spirit :D

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Wizards In Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Barry MacKichan

The Little Drummer Boy by Barry MacKichan