By: Stephen Arensberg
There are four main types of protists. These are Amoebas, Euglenas, Parameciums, and Volvox's. Each one of these protists is unicellular. Some of these consume other organisms to get their food. Others get their food by using their chloroplasts to go through photosynthesis.
Euglenas are one on the two protists of the main four that are able to produce their own food. They have chloroplasts inside of them so that they can undergo photosynthesis. Euglenas also have an eyespot which detects light helping the photosynthesis process. Euglenas are neat because they are classified in the heterotroph and autotroph group which means they can make their own food and consume their food. They move by using a flagellum. A flagellum is like a motor that propels them forward. The Euglena go through mitosis which is an asexual reproduction process.
Amoebas eat by consuming other organisms and cannot go through photosynthesis. They stretch their cytoplasm out and form pseudopods. Amoebas then engulf or swallow their prey surrounding it with the pseudopods. They also move by using their pseudopods to pull them wherever they want to go. If the moist environment amoebas live in completely drys up, then they will turn into a cyst. A cyst is a hard shell that protects them when they aren't in water. Amoebas go through asexual reproduction called binary fission. This is when the protist splits apart in to two halves.
Paramecium feed on other organisms just like Amoebas. The only difference is that paramecium let the water go into their oral groove which is like a mouth. Then the water travels to the gullet where the nutrients, waste, and water are separated. Paramecium also move by using their cilia to propel them forward. The interesting thing about paramecium is that they can go through asexual and sexual reproduction. If paramecium are being hunted they will use avoidance behavior. This is when they shy away from harmful predators. They may also use their trycocysts to tangle their predators if they can't get away.
Volvox go through photosynthesis just like euglena do. This means that volvox have chloroplasts too. Volvox are like euglenas in a similar way. They move by using flagellum's (two) and so do euglenas, but euglenas only have one. Volvox are an interesting protist because they live in colonies of ALOT, so you almost never find a volvox by itself. They reproduce differently from asexual and sexual reproduction. Volvox reproduce when the parent ball gets so big that it actually burst open releasing all of the daughter colonies. Volvox, because they live in colonies, are able to work together with each other to survive.
Flexible Movement in Euglena 2
Amoeba eats two paramecia (Amoeba's lunch)