By Ryan Gause
What Are Protists?
Protists are single celled organisms that live within the cell that is like a fish trying to survive by preying on other organisms or be like plants and use chloroplast and sunlight to create food. There are three main protists: Paramecium, Euglena, Volvox, and Amoeba.
Amoeba are like blobs of cytoplasm which are held together by a thin cell membrane. It may not have cilia or a flagella but moves by making pseudopods or "false feet" and move by reshaping it's body. It also uses pseudopods to eats by engulfing it's food with pseudopods and enclosing them and making food vacuoles that float around the amoeba. It's a simple reproduction because it just spits in half and making a smaller duplicate of itself. The coolest thing is that if conditions are unfavorable it can become something like a sist. It will be like this until conditions are favorable again.
This protist is a little more shaped than the amoeba. But they may not be able to shape shift but they can twist their body to the existent. They have a thick cell membrane that prevents them from shapeshifting but they have nothing preventing them from twisting. These use small hairlike stands called cilia that line there body to propel themselves through the water. They don't have chloroplast so they have to hunt for food. The way they eat is that they use cilia to direct food and water into it's oral groove which is a groove on it's side where the food enters. After passing through the oral groove it goes onto the gullet (the stomach) to be digested. When there is waste and excess water it will get released by a contractile vacuole. Paramecium usually reproduce asexually and will split its DNA and create a copy. The only time it reproduce sexually is under stressful conditions and when that occurs two paramecium will latch onto each other side by side. How they respond to their environment is pretty cool. When a paramecium feels threatened it will shoot out trichocysts which are like little taser guns that can entangle it's predator and paralyses it. It can also make the paramecium look larger.
Don't Tase Me Bro!! Paranema Stunned By A Passing Paramecium
Luckily this protist has chlorophyll so it can preform photosynthesis to make food for itself. But if there is no light they can absorb nutrients through their cell membrane. This protists doesn't use pseudopods nor cilia it use a whip like strand that is called flagella that is constantly whipping. Euglena are the same like paramecium when it comes to reproduction because most of the time it is asexually. How they respond to their environment is pretty cool, they can sense light from all the way on the other side of a pond.
A Euglena Divides And Splits
Volvox are a little different than the other protists because its just a ball. They have chloroplasts so they don't need to hunt for food. They move by have two flagella or flagellum. They reproduce sexually but they don't split they bursts. They create daughter volvox and when they mature the volvox will bursts releasing the daughter volvox. How they respond to their environment is that they are usually always in a colony and barely ever alone.
Volvox close up - Flagella movement