Protists. Protist Characteristics. An extremely diverse group Eukaryotes Mostly unicellular some colonial some multicellular Some heterotrophic, some autotrophic, some both Some have cell walls. 3 Major Types. Animal-like protozoa Fungus-like Plant- like algae.
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Are heterotrophs (some are parasites!)
Types of protozoans:
1. Sarcodines– use pseudopodia (“false feet”) to move and get food
EX: Amoebas, foraminifera. radiolarians
2. Ciliophores – use cillia to move
3. Flagellates-have whip-like flagella
This one is a pathogen – causes diarrhea
A related protist, Leishmania, causes the disease leishmaniasis.
These protists are transmitted by biting flies, and are a serious public health problem in much of the world.
4. Sporozoans – no method of movement
form spores, many are parasites
- Toxoplasma- carried by rodents, birds, and domestic cats (can be harmful to unborn babies if mom changes the kitty litter box)
- Plasmodium- causes Malaria (carried by mosquitoes)
Are classified by their pigments (their color) – red, green or brown
Many are multicelled
Do not have stems, leaves and roots like plants
Make up phytoplankton (bottom of ocean food chain)
Slime & water molds
Some of these can move
Many are decomposers or parasites