What Are the Three Ways Protists Move?

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Protists move using cilia, flagella and pseudopodia. The method of locomotion varies depending on the type of protist species and where they live.

Some protists’ movement is enable by cilia, which are tiny hair-like projections that extend from their surfaces or from within cells. Cilia enable protists to move in rhythmical patterns as they swim through the water. Other protists move using flagella, which are long and threadlike appendages that look like long whips and help organisms move steadily through currents and waves. Pseudopodia is the third type of protist locomotion. This movement involves a temporary projection of cytoplasm through certain cells, such as phagocytes.