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Lesson 04 – The Forgotten Kingdoms

Read About the Forgotten Kingdoms


Can you find where all the definitions are in the text?


Organisms are living things that can grow, use nutrients, and produce young.


Monera are a large group of unicellular, or one-celled, microscopic organisms that includes bacteria.


Protists are a large group of unicellular, or one-celled, microscopic organisms that live in water and cannot be classed as animals, plants, or bacteria (e.g., protozoans, algae, seaweed, some slime moulds).


Fungi are a large group of non-green plant-like organisms that are mainly decomposers, with some that can cause infections (e.g., mushrooms, moulds, yeasts).


Amoebas are unicellular, or one-celled, microscopic organisms (protozoans) that move by constantly changing their shape.

The Forgotten Kingdoms

People rarely think about organisms in the Monera, Protista, and Fungi kingdoms.

The Monera Kingdom
The Protista Kingdom
The Fungi Kingdom
The Monera Kingdom

  • only one cell
  • most simple cell structure
  • reproduce by splitting in two
  • most absorb nutrients from outside their bodies

Bacteria are everywhere. They turn milk into yogurt and cheese. They help decompose waste. They can keep us healthy or make us sick. They are used to produce many medicines that treat diseases. Although we cannot see them, bacteria are very important in our lives.

The Protista Kingdom

  • do not fit in any other kingdom
  • not bacteria, fungi, plants, or animals
  • most have only one cell
  • more complex cell structure than moneras
  • live mostly in water but can survive in moist soil and inside animals
  • most reproduce by splitting into two

Protists are classified according to how they move and how they get nutrition. So there are animal-like protists, plant-like protists, and fungus-like protists. Algae are plant-like protists. They produce their own food. Amoebas are animal-like protists. They consume other organisms for food. Drinking water that contains certain types of amoebas can make people sick. Slime moulds are fungus-like protists. They absorb nutrients from their environment.

The Fungi Kingdom

  • many cells
  • get nutrients from dead plants and animals
  • decomposers that help turn dead organisms into nutrients that make soil rich

Fungi are used to produce many medicines. We eat some types of fungi. Yeast is a fungus used for baking. Some fungi can cause infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. Others can damage crops.

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