|This page contains links to the taxonomic systems and image galleries for the different classes of the phylum PROTOZOA.|
The taxonomy of protozoa
is a difficult task.
Protozoa are thought to be the origin for the evolution of all multi-cellular organisms to which belong the plants, fungae, and animals. And according to the different trophic systems used by these kingdoms, i.e. either auto(photo) trophic (plants) or heterotrophic (fungae, animals), there exist also purely auto- and heterotrophic groups of protozoa which are then easily put into an plant or animal context. Though, there are also species with a somehow intermediate trophic capability. They can, sucht as e.g. many dinflagellates, either be auto- and heterotrophic at a time and are therefore called mixotrophic (or auxotrophic, when only vitamins or so are taken up from other organisms) or, like e.g. some euglenophyceans, they exhibit an alteration from one to another form of trophic system during their lifetime. Such species are found in almost all of the protozan classes, which are shown to the right.
In a way, protozoans can therefore be considered as an evolutionary playground or laboratory, in which all ways of living are tried out.
But, of course, this fact makes it also very complicated to sort things out. The taxonomy given in this page only partially reflects the up-to-date taxonomy and it is certainly not meant to cover the present knowledge in the field of porotozan systematics. Recent reviews on eukaryote and protozoan taxonomy can be found in PDF format in the Literature section below.
The pages contained in this PROTOZOA section are rather thought to give some insights into this fascinating world of little creatures and to show, what enormous diversity nature was able to create from one single cell.
possess flagellae. subdivided into "phytoflagellata" and "zooflagellata"
TAXONOMY & IMAGE GALLERY
use pseudopodia for locomotion and prey catch. all species hetero- and phagotropic
TAXONOMY & IMAGE GALLERY
possess cilia (short and highly coordinated flagellae) and a somatic macro- and generative micronucleus
endoparasites with haplo-homophasic generation switch
parasites with screw-like extrovertable tubules reminding of cnides of the cnidaria
Cavalier-Smith (1993) Kingdom Protozoa and its 18 Phyla. Microbiological Reviews, 57/4: 953-994
Stechmann and Cavalier-Smith (2003) The root of the eukaryote tree pinpointed. Current Biology, 13/17: R665-666
Cavalier-Smith (2004) Only six kingdoms of life. Proc.R.Soc.Lond.B, 271: 1251-1262
Rudolf Roettger (ed., 1995) Praktikum der Protozoologie. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart, Jena, New York.
Hans-Eckhard Gruner (ed., 1993) Lehrbuch der Speziellen Zoologie. Band I, 1. Teil: Einführung, Protozoa, Placozoa, Porifera. 5.Auflage. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena, Stuttgart, New York
Heinz Streble, Dieter Krauter (1988) Das Leben im Wassertropfen. 8.Auflage. Frankh-Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart
This page last updated Oct 8th, 2004.