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Facts About Protists

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Last updated date: 22nd Jul 2024
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Protista Kingdom

Protista is the second kingdom which contains all the eukaryotic unicellular organisms. It is subdivided into different groups, which are, Crystophytes, Dinoflagellates, Slime moulds, Protozoans, and Euglenoids. In this article, we will talk about this kingdom and state some facts about protists, Protista examples, and characteristics of Protista and also discuss how protists obtain their energy.

Kingdom Protista

Kingdom Protista

What is a Protist?

Protista is the second kingdom and includes all the unicellular eukaryotic organisms. All these organisms which come under this kingdom are termed protists, they are neither plants, animals, fungi, nor bacteria. They are higher organisms When compared to bacteria but they are lower than all plants, animals, and fungi.

Characteristics of Protista

Characteristics of the organisms which come under this Kingdom and given below:

  • This  Kingdom has various organisms that do not have much in common.

  • They are mainly unicellular microorganisms that are comparatively limited to the other eukaryotes

  • They have a relatively simple Eukaryotic cell system

Body Organisation of an Amoeba.

Body Organisation of an Amoeba.

  • This Kingdom includes organisms that may live on the land or water 

Facts About Protists

Some facts about  The Kingdom Protista and mention here:

  • Many of the members of this Kingdom act as pathogens to human beings that is they cause several diseases in humans for example malaria which is a very common disease is caused but plasmodium which is a member of this  Kingdom

Plasmodium: the Malarial Parasite.

Plasmodium: the Malarial Parasite. 

  • Amoeba is another example of an organism that belongs to This Kingdom.  If we cut an amoeba in half both halves grow to become an adult amoeba

Dividing Amoeba

Dividing Amoeba

  • If the Amoeba is cut in such a manner that only one of its half has the nucleus. In contrast, the other half does not have a nucleus; the one with the nucleus will survive whereas the other one will die.

  •  The organisms of this Kingdom can be divided into subclasses based on the type of movement they show.

  • They can have cilia or flagella or pseudopodia, which are false feet for movement

How Do Protists Obtain Their Energy?

Different members of the kingdom obtain energy differently. Some of them ingest their food and digest it internally, whereas some others digest their food externally, that is outside their body by using certain types of enzymes which are unique to them. Some of the members are also autotrophic, that is they make their food through processes like photosynthesis which is similar to higher plants. These organisms absorb solar energy and then convert it into their food. 

Kingdom Protista Examples

Some examples of organisms from Kingdom Protista are:

  • Desmids

  • Diatoms

  •  Slime moulds

  •  Euglena

  •  Plasmodium

  • Paramecium

  •  Amoeba

  •  Trypanosoma 


We currently follow the five kingdom classification system which includes classifying all the organisms into five kingdoms namely Monera, Protista, fungus, plant and animals. Protista is the second Kingdom which includes organisms which are unicellular and other eukaryotes. These organisms are the lowest eukaryotes among all eukaryotes. This Kingdom also has subclasses that are cryptophytes, dinoflagellates, Slime moulds, Euglenoids and protozoans. all organisms have different methods of obtaining energy which may be internal digestion, External digestion or autotrophy.

Sample Questions 

State whether the statements mentioned below are true or not: 

1. We currently follow the five-kingdom classification system. 

Ans: True. 

2. Protists can have different means of movement which divides them into different groups. 

Ans: True. 

3. Protista includes the most primitive type of organism. 

Ans: False, the kingdom includes organisms with a higher level of organisation as compared to the kingdom monera whose sole members are bacteria. 

Learn by Doing

Complete the given statements by filling in the blanks: 

1. Protists can digest their food both __________ and __________. 

Ans: internally, externally. 

2. Choose the organisms which belong to the kingdom Protista from the list given below:

Slime moulds, ferns, yeast, mycoplasma, euglena, amoeba, and Plasmodium. 

Ans: Slime moulds, euglena, amoeba and plasmodium.

FAQs on Facts About Protists

1. Do protists have a nucleus?

The kingdom Protista includes unicellular eukaryotic organisms. This implies that yes, members of the kingdom Protista have a well-defined nucleus since they are eukaryotic organisms. 

2. What are the subgroups of protozoans?

Protozoan is a subgroup of protists and it can be further classified mainly based on the type of movement shown by the organisms. The four subgroups are 

  • Ciliated protozoans

  • Flagellated protozoans

  • Sporozoans; which have a spore-like stage. 

  • Amoeboids.

3. What do you understand about red tides?

Red tide is a phenomenon in which the water body appears to be red, it is caused by an organism named gonyaulax which is a dinoflagellate. The red colour is produced due to the overproduction of the organism due to its enhanced reproductive capability.