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Protist Kingdom


A114 Protist Kingdom
Carl Linnaeus published the first edition of his Systema Naturae was published in 1735. It and later editions divided all life into two kingdoms: plant and animal.
   German biologist Ernst Haeckle (see Haeckel's Invertebrates) used a microscope to discover thousands of previously unknown species. They were not animals, nor plants, so Haeckle established the Protisa Kingdom in 1866.
     Protists are a large and diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms. Their simple cellular organization distinguishes them from animals, plants and fungi. There are many species with similar physical characteristics and they have been grouped together and such groups has been given a name, such as Excavata. The problem is that they are not closely related through evolution, life cycle, physical characteristics, modes of locomotion or cellular structure. The lack of this preclude the establishing of a larger classification system.
   To use an analogy, biologists may group related species together and call them monkeys. They may do it again with another group that they call penguins. Both of these groups do share a common physical characteristic. They are both vertebrates. As additional species are discovered and grouped together, it makes it possible to define sub-groups, such as mammals and birds and then families. This is no the case with the protists.  There have been numerous classification systems suggested, but none have been widely accepted, as there is simply not enough known about them.
   The result in that is the protists have become somewhat of a catch-all kingdom. If it doesn't fit into one of the clearly defined kingdoms, its dumped into the protist "bucket."
The primary purpose of this poster is to introduce the subject. It is divided into clearly identifiable and recognized groups. Each is introduced and many representative species are shown. There has been very little published on this subject and information for schools is all but non-existent. This poster is the ideal companion to our Animal Kingdom and Plant Kingdom posters. 

STATUS: The above layout shows our first draft. It was largely compiled from information gleaned from the popular online Wikipedia Encyclopedia. However as we really began working on this poster, we found a great many contradictions between articles, probably the result of them having been written by different authors. It was exceptionally difficult to find reference pictures for our artist to create illustrations and we came to discover that a very high percentage of the images on internet are misidentified. The subject was so frustrating that we were ready to abandon the project, but then happily discovered one of the few an experts on the subject. He was vary familiar with the problems we had encountered and was he who recommended the approach that we now using. He is now working closely with us, providing invaluable information and a wealth of documented reference images.

It has become apparent that everything we have done to date was a waste of time, so we are starting over again from scratch. The only value to the above layout is that shows that the Protists Kingdom poster will use the same graphic design as Animal and Plant Kingdom, resulting in a matched set. 

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