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Unicellular Eukaryotes

  • A diverse array of unicellular eukaryotic organisms exists almost anywhere there is water. All unicellular eukaryotes are classified in the kingdom Protista, along with the multicellular eukaryotes that aren’t considered animals, plants, or fungi.

  • The resulting grab-bag kingdom is one of unexpected diversity in form and lifestyle. The taxonomy of the protists is an unsettled scientific problem that is the subject of intense research.

  • An exploration of protist diversity can begin in a drop of pond water. In this Lesson, we’ll also explore the origins of the eukaryotes, and look at a wide variety of protist organisms including plantlike algae, one-celled predators, and slimy decomposers.