Publication No. 10904
Characteristics of Protozoa
Student Laboratory Kit
Materials Included In Kit
Methylene blue solution, 1%, 20 mL
Methyl cellulose solution, 3%, 20 mL
Depression slides, single cavity, 15
Pipets, graduated, 30
*Prepared slides (shared)
Additional Materials Required
Water, distilled or deionized†
Amoeba (Flinn Catalog No. LM1062)*‡
Beakers, 50-mL, or dropper bottles, 30†
Diatom (Flinn Catalog No. LM1037)*‡
Euglena (Flinn Catalog No. LM1039)*‡
Paramecium (Flinn Catalog No. LM1076)*‡
Volvox (Flinn Catalog No. LM1055)*‡
*for each lab group
†for Prelab Preparation
‡Live cultures (shared)
Methylene blue will stain skin and clothing. Wear chemical splash goggles, chemical-resistant gloves and a chemical-resistant apron. Remind students to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the laboratory. Please review current Safety Data Sheets for additional safety, handling and disposal information.
Please consult your current Flinn Scientific Catalog/Reference Manual for general guidelines and specific procedures, and review all federal, state and local regulations that may apply, before proceeding. Sterilize protist cultures by adding an equal amount of a 10% bleach solution. Allow to rest for 24 hours then flush down the drain with copious amounts of water. Methyl cellulose solution may be flushed down the drain with large amounts of water. Methylene blue solution may be disposed of according to Flinn Suggested Disposal Method #10, neutralizing with an acid.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)†
Science & Engineering PracticesPlanning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Engaging in argument from evidence
Disciplinary Core IdeasMS-LS1.A: Structure and Function
HS-LS1.A: Structure and Function
Structure and function
MS-LS1-1. Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells
Answers to Prelab Questions
Answers to Questions
Campbell, N. and Reece, J. 2005. Protists in Biology, 7th ed. 549–567. San Francisco: Pearson Education.
Characteristics of Protists
Protist is a convenient grouping formed from several kingdoms of life. Members are placed into the protist group because they are eukaryotes that do not belong to the kingdom Animalia, Plantae or Fungi. Until recently these organisms were classified into the kingdom Protista. Recent advances in classification, such as DNA sequencing, have lead to the abandoning of Protista in favor of multiple kingdoms. Protists include the fungi-like slime molds, the plant-like algae and the animal-like protozoa.
The diversity of protists is exemplified in the variety of methods the different species use to acquire food. Protists include autotrophs, heterotrophs, decomposers, parasites, and even mixotrophs. Mixotrophs can be either an autotroph or a heterotroph depending upon environmental conditions. Protists may be motile or immobile with some species motile during one stage of life and immobile in another stage. Protists may be unicellular, colonial or multicellular. Some organisms reproduce asexually or sexually and many organisms have both asexual and sexual reproduction depending upon environmental conditions. Some protists are anaerobic but most are aerobic. Protists live in water, in moist places on land, as symbionts, or as internal parasites.
The purpose of this laboratory is to explore the many diverse characteristics of the protists. Both live and preserved specimens will be observed during this activity.
Methylene blue solution, 0.01%, 1 mL
Methyl cellulose solution, 1 mL
Microscope slides, depression type
Pipets, graduated, 2
†Prepared slides (shared)
Methylene blue will stain skin and clothing. Wear chemical splash goggles, chemical-resistant gloves and a chemical-resistant apron. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the laboratory. Please follow all laboratory safety guidelines.
Student Worksheet PDF