The Protist Kingdom
The Step Between
This kingdom is the "stepping stone" between the one-celled bacteria of the first two kingdoms and the next three kingdoms - the fungi, plant, and animal kingdoms.
2 + 6 + 4 = 12 Phyla in the Protist Kingdom
The organisms in the Protist Kingdom are divided into 12 phyla. Phyla is the Latin plural of phylum. You can think of the phyla in the Protist Kingdom as being divided into three big categories the fungi-like molds (F), the plant-like algae (P), and the animal-like protozoans (A).
Two of the phyla in the Protist Kingdom are fungi-like. They are 1) slime molds and 2) water molds and mildews.
Six of the phyla in this kingdom are plant-like. They are algae. One of the phylum in this group is the red algae phylum. Its organisms are used in making toothpaste! Another phylum, Dinophta, contains algae that produce red tide. These organisms turn the water red and can poison sea-life.
There are 4 phyla in the kingdom that are considered animal-like. One phylum contains a protozoan that causes African Sleeping Sickness. A member of another animal-like phyla causes malaria.
Have you ever heard of the word symbiosis? This word refers to living things that help each other. There are symbiotic relationships even in the Protist Kingdom! Many protists called Trichonympha live inside a termites gut. They break down some of the material in the termites wood meals. If they didnt do this, termites couldnt eat wood! We might like this but the termite wouldnt. Even the tiny protist is important in the food chain!
A Protist Detective:
Find out more about either African sleeping sickness or malaria. Tell how the disease affected the world and explain what was done about it.
Find out about Red Tide. When does it occur? What do people do when Red Tide affects an area?