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7.4: Introduction to the Characteristics of Protists

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    What you’ll learn to do: Identify the common characteristics of protists

    There are over 100,000 described living species of protists, and it is unclear how many undescribed species may exist. Since many protists live as commensals or parasites in other organisms and these relationships are often species-specific, there is a huge potential for protist diversity that matches the diversity of hosts. As the catchall term for eukaryotic organisms that are not animal, plant, or fungi, it is not surprising that very few characteristics are common to all protists.

    Traditionally, protists were classified due to their size, shape and color. When Robert Whittaker proposed original Kingdom, he recognized that some members did not fit an easily identifiable mold. With the advent of genetic testing, the entire classification and description of this group has changed, resulting in new species and new genealogy.

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Original
    • Introduction to the Characteristics of Protists. Authored by: Steven Mezik. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution
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    7.4: Introduction to the Characteristics of Protists is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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