The Amazing Protists!

Interesting Facts and Information about Protists!

The Awesome Amoeba!

Amoeba are animal-like protists that eat other organisms to survive. They move in their own unique way, and they asexualy reproduce. If you want more details, you need to keep reading!

How does it get food?

The Amoebas have a unique way of getting food. They are animal-like so that means they consume other organisms. Unlike other protists, the Amoeba surrounds and traps its food using its pseudopod. This is called Phagocytosis. It pushes its cytoplasm, and stretches its cell membrane. It also uses it to move, but that's later.

How does it move?

The Amoeba uses its pseudopod to move. Like how it eats, it pushes it cytoplasm toward the cell membrane, and creeps along. Kind of creepy don't you think! (Pun intended)

How does it reproduce?

The Amoeba produces asexually, meaning without sharing DNA with another organism. It goes through a process called binary fission. Thats a fancy word for when the Amoeba splits or duplicates in two.

How does it respond to the environment?

The Amoeba is also unique in a "superpower" that it has. During hard times, like a drought, or in other situations, the Amoeba can harden to become inactive. Almost like putting your computer on stand-by until you get a charger if the battery is low. When the conditions improve, the Amoeba goes back to being a "blob".
Amoeba Eats two Paramecium

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The Excellent Euglena!

Euglenas can eat food in two different ways, unlike other protists. Like the Amoeba, it asexually reproduces. It also has this handy organelle called the eyespot.

How does it get food?

The Euglena actually has two ways of getting food. It uses its eyespot to detect light, then moves over to it and uses the light for photosynthesis. However, if there was no sunlight, then it has a backup way of getting food. It can absorb food from its environment through the cell membrane.

How does it move?

This is an easy one. The Euglena moves by using its flagellum. Sometimes you can't see it, but it is there!

How does it reproduce?

Like the Amoeba, the Euglena reproduces asexually. It is called, as I said earlier, binary fission.

How does it respond to the environment?

The Euglena has an eyespot that helps it detect light. Thanks to the eyespot, it is able to detect which side of the pond the sun is on.
Euglena Binary Fission

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The Playful Paramecium!

The paramecium is an animal-like protist. This means it eats other organisms instead of making its own food. It can both sexual and asexually reproduce.

How does it get food?

The paramecium uses its cilia to sweep food and microorganisms into its oral groove, then into its gullet.

How does it move?

The paramecium uses its cilia to move, as well as eating. The cilia act as a bunch of oars. The protist can also contort and twist its body to get out of tight squeezes.

How does it reproduce?

The paramecium can reproduce 2-3 times per day. They can reproduce both asexually and sexually. WIth sexual reproduction, it looks like two paramecium stacked on top of each other. With asexual reproduction, it looks like two paramecium stuck together at the tip.

How does it respond to the environment?

The paramecium has two different ways of responding to the environment. One way is called avoidance behavior. This means that when the paramecium senses danger, it goes the other way. The other way is called trichocyst, this means that when attacked, the paramecium will shoot out its cytoplasm to look bigger and more menacing.
Paramecium Video

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The Vast Volvox!

The Volvox is made up of many individual cells and reproduce by bursting open and releasing daughter colonies. I don't want to give too much information away- so keep reading!

How does it get food?

Each individual cell in a volvox has an eyespot, and they work together to move toward the light. Then they use that light to make their own food by photosynthesis.

How does it move?

Each cell in the volvox has two flagella. All of the cells in the volvox work in unison by spinning until they reach their destination.

How does it reproduce?

The Volvox bursts open and releases the daughter colony. Looking at a Volvox, you can see the daughter colonies.

How does it respond to the environment?

With the Volvox, it is very simple. The way it responds to the environment is that it lives in colonies. A Volvox can actually be seen by the naked eye. There are thousands of individual cells that make up the Volvox.
Volvox Video

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