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Biodiversity : The Variety of Life on Earth Index

Biodiversity
Collecting, Describing and Classifying
How Biologists Classify Species : Similarities and Differences
Putting Things into Groups

Topic Chapters Index

 

The images hyperlink to more information about each group

Bacteria Kingdom

Bacteria icon

Bacteria

Fungi Kingdom

Fungi icon

Fungi

 

The Plant Kingdom

Moss icon

Mosses and Liverworts

Fern icon

Ferns

Conifer icon

Conifers

Flowering Plant icon

Flowering Plants

 

The Animal Kingdom

Vertebrate Groups

Lionfish icon

Fish

Frog icon (photo by Paul Billiet)

Amphibians

Snake icon

Reptiles

Falcon icon

Birds

Lion icon

Mammals

 

Invertebrate Groups

Medusa icon

Jellyfish

Sea slug icon (photo by Paul Billiet)

Molluscs

Starfish icon

Starfish

Earthworm icon

Worms

 

Arthropods

Swimming crab icon

Crustaceans

Beetle icon (photo by Paul Billiet)

Insects

Giant millipede icon

Myriapods

Tarantula icon

Spiders

 

BIODIVERSITY : PUTTING THINGS INTO GROUPS

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Protoctista Kingdom

For the protoctista kingdom, one phylum is the ciliate phylum. This kingdom contains other organisms such as algae (including seaweed and kelp), amoebas, diatoms, dinoflagellates, foraminifera, and slime moulds. Almost all protoctists are microscopic. Hundreds of them could live in a drop of water. They make up an important part of plankton.

 

The zooplankton © Shirley Burchill

The Phytoplankton  © Shirley Burchill

Drawing of Volvox  © Shirley Burchill

Drawing of Euglena  © Shirley Burchill

Drawing of Vorticella  © Shirley Burchill

Drawing of Stentor  © Shirley Burchill

 

Ciliate phylum:
The paramecium

Paramecia belong to the group of microscopic organisms called the ciliates. These are the most complex of single-celled creatures. They are quite large for this type of organism. The biggest may be more than half a millimeter long.

 

A paramecium © Paul Billiet

A photograph of a Paramecium

The photograph shows a Paramecium as seen through the high power of a microscope.

 

They are found on bottom of ponds and slow moving streams all over the world. They will even grow in water of a flower vase. Paramecia feed on bacteria which they trawl as they swim through muddy water, rich in organic sediments. They are strong swimmers, moving at about 60 mm per hour. Their body is covered in a coat of microscopic hairs called cilia, which beat together, pushing the paramecium through the water.

 

 

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