Russell-Hunter, W. D. Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.
Last reviewed:September 2021
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A member of an informal assemblage of eukaryotic organisms that are not plant, fungus, or animal. All eukaryote organisms (that is, organisms whose cells contain a cell nucleus), excluding those that are animal, plant, or fungus, are informally called protists. Most protists are unicellular (see illustration). In former classifications, the taxonomic kingdom Protista comprised all single-celled forms of living organisms. However, Protista is no longer considered to be a valid taxonomic category. Organisms that are commonly referred to as protists include amebas, algae, slime molds, water molds, and protozoa. See also: Algae; Ameba; Biological classification; Cell (biology); Cell nucleus; Eukaryota; Protozoa; Slime mold
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