Last week we studied the microscopic world of Monera, but they are not the only creatures that are microscopic. Although Protista are from 10 to 100 times larger than Monera, this kingdom has many microscopic members as well.
Kingdom Protista are mostly single-celled, eukaryotic, and have distinct, membrane-bounded organelles. These are small animal-like microorganisms that are able to move around and are mostly found in water or some kind of moisture.
|Paramecium, Phylum Ciliophora, Subkingdom Protozoa, Kingdom Protista|
Kingdom Protista is divided into two subkingdoms: Protozoa and Algae.
|Amoeba, Phylum Sarcodina, Subkingdom Protozoa, Kingdom Protista|
The four phyla for subkingdom Protozoa are divided according to how they are able to move about - their locomotion.
|Alex (age 18, special education) made his Amoeba by cutting pieces of construction paper freehand and made a key at the bottom of his notebook page with matching cut-outs.|
Phylum Sarcodina: Some organisms, such as an Amoeba, move with pseudopods (meaning "false feet"), or a foot-like extension of a cell, used for locomotion or engulfing food.
Phylum Mastigophora: Other members of subkingdom Protozoa move about with flagella, which are whip-like rotating structures that look like tails, like the Euglena.
Some, like the Volvox, which are really colonies, have more than one flagella.
|Euglena, Phylum Mastigophora, Subkingdom Protozoa, Kingdom Protista|
|James demonstrates how the flagella spins around to produce locomotion.|
Phylum Ciliophora: Some, like the Paramecium, move with little hair-like extensions called cilia.
Phylum Sporozoa: And lastly, some have no means of locomotion, and do not fit in the other three phyla, and therefore have its own phylum. The parasite Plasmodium, that causes malaria, is in this Phylum.
|Spyrogyra, Phylum Chlorophyta, Subkingdom Algae, Kingdom Protista|
AlgaeSubkingdom Algae is divided into five phyla. The division for Algae is based on their habitat (some can live in salt water and some in fresh water), organization (whether they are single or multicellular; either way, their cells are all eukaryotic.) and type of cell wall.
- Phylum Chlorophyta is characterized by greenish algae which live in mostly fresh water. An example is Spyrogyra.
- Phylum Chrysophyta has one of the most interesting microscopic creatures I know, the genus Diatom. These are a very beautiful and unique type of algae, mostly because their cell walls are composed of silicon dioxide, which is the main component of glass. It remains hard long after the diatom dies. They form crystal-like formations of many different types.
- Phylum Pyrophyta live in marine waters and exist as single cells. They have two flagella of unequal length and therefore often called dinoflagellates.
- Phylum Phaeophyta are brown algae and are multicellular organisms that inhabit the cold ocean waters.
- Phylum Rhodophyta are red algae and are also multicellular and live in warm marine waters.
- Exploring Creation with Biology, Jay Wile
- Exploring Creation with General Science, Jay Wile
- My First Protozoa, Journey into Unschooling
- Pond Scum, a game about Protozoa at Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop