What Is a Protist?

A protist is an organism in the Kingdom Protista. Protists belong to a very large, diverse group of organisms that are all eukaryotic, and most are unicellular. Examples of protists include red algae, amoeba and slime molds.

Protists vary in their movement, and they are separated in locomotion categories of cilia (hair-like projections), flagella (thread-like, whip appendages) and pseudopodia (temporary projections). They also vary in the way they gain energy, as often a single method of acquiring energy is specific to a single protist. The four groups of protist energy are: photosynthetic autotroph, chemosynthetic autotroph, heterotroph by ingestion and heterotroph by absorption.