Introduction to the Eukaryota

Fungi, Protists, Plants, Animals...

The Eukaryota include the organisms that most people are most familiar with - all animals, plants, fungi, and protists. They also include the vast majority of the organisms that paleontologists work with. Although they show unbelievable diversity in form, they share fundamental characteristics of cellular organization, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Shown here, clockwise from upper left: a dinoflagellate, a single-celled photosynthetic protist; a palm tree representing the plants; a spider, one of the animals; and a cluster of mushrooms representing the fungi.

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