By: Jack Edmonson
A protist is a unicellular organism that is eukaryotic. Protists belong to the kingdom Protista. There are different types of protists such as Euglena, Amoeba, Paramecium, and volvox.
The euglena is an interesting protist because they get their food through photosynthesis but they also absorb food from their environment. Euglena move by a flagellum which is a long tail acts like a motor. Euglena also have an eyespot which helps the euglena detect light in order for photosynthesis to happen. Euglena reproduce through mitosis which means it splits itself in half and becomes two euglena. All euglena are green because they eat algae. Euglena respond do there environment by using there eyespot to detect sunlight for photosynthesis.
Paramecium eat microorganisms such as algae, bacteria, and yeasts. Paramecium use its cilia (tiny hairs) to sweep the food along with some water into its mouth after it goes into the oral groove. Paramecium reproduce both sexually and asexually. Asexual reproduction is most common amongst paramecium and they can reproduce this way up to three times a day. The paramecium looks like the bottom of a shoe. Paramecium respond to there environment by tricocyst and avoidance behavior.
Volvox are unicellular algae that live in colonies. The colony contains anywhere from 500-20,000 individual cells. Volvox move from two flagellum. They also make their own food from photosynthesis. Volvox reproduce when the daughter colony matures and the parent ball bursts open and releases the daughter colonies. Volvox respond to there environment by forming colonies.
Amoeba are most commonly found in ponds and lakes. They are unicellular and they have the ability to change shape. Amoeba have a pseudopodia which is a false foot. This allows them to change shape. Amoeba move by making their cytoplasm move. They have the ability to make their cytoplasm a liquid, move, and change the cytoplasm back to a solid. Amoebas eat algae, bacteria, plant cells, and other unicellular organisms. Amoeba respond to there environment by turning into cyst.
Euglena - Flagellum movement in phase contrast
Paramecium eating pigmented yeast
Volvox close up - Flagella movement
Amoeba in motion