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essay3 - Q3 Explain how Protists are the most diverse of...

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Q3. Explain how Protists are the most diverse of all eukaryotes. Describe how the first protists may have evolved. Support this hypothesis. 1. Protist is an informal term applied to any eukaryote that is not a plant, animal or fungus. Most protists are unicellular, though some are colonial/multicellular; however, they are extremely diverse, second only to monerans. 2. Dutch scientist, Antoni van Leuwenhoek, was the first to observe protists under the microscope and he said, “No more pleasant a sight has met my eye than this,” and he was right because protists exhibit more structural/functional diversity than any other group of organisms. 3. While unicellular protists would seem to be the simplest eukaryotic organisms, at the cellular level they are the most elaborate of all cells. a. A single cell must perform all the basic functions performed by the collective of specialized cells in plants and animals. b. Protists are also the most nutritionally diverse. i. Most protists are aerobic, with mitochondria for cellular respiration. ii. Some protists are photoautotrophs with chloroplasts, such as algae. iii. Still others are heterotrophs that absorb organic molecules or ingest larger food particles.
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