Colonial organisms are actually groups of individual organisms with a close, dependent relationship with other organisms in the colony, often with each member having a very specific specialization that makes them incapable of surviving alone. The individual members can be multicellular organisms or single-celled organisms.Know More
Colonial organisms benefit from their organization by having more protection or being able to catch larger prey than an individual member could. While this description is usually applied to organisms that live attached to one another, insects, such as honey bees and ants, that live in mutually dependent colonies are also sometimes considered colonial organisms.
Some of the most complex examples of colonial organisms are siphonophores, such as the Portuguese man o' war. They are most closely related to jellyfish and sea anemones, which are true individual organisms. These colonial organisms show a very high level of specialization in their individual members, which are known as zooids. The Portuguese man o' war has four different types of zooids, each of which performs a particular function for the colonial organisms that the others cannot. One type of zooid provides propulsion for the colony, while another is able to ingest and digest food items. They live attached to one another, sharing nutrition.Learn more about Biology
Like algae and plants, Euglena cells contain chloroplasts that allow them to create food through photosynthesis, but they can also take in nutrients from other organisms when light is not available. Euglena are a unique group of single-cell organisms that have some of the same functions as both plants and animals.Full Answer >
Heterotrophs are organisms that obtain energy by feeding off of other organisms, because they are unable to make their own food. They are also called consumers.Full Answer >
The most significant importance of the kingdom Protista is as primary producers, and thus food sources, for other organisms, as well as generators of oxygen. Single-celled oceanic algae, which are members of Protista, actually produce the majority of atmospheric oxygen via photosynthesis. Protista are also important as pathogens, consumers and decomposers. In a few cases, as with coral and termites, they are also crucial symbiotes.Full Answer >
A decomposer is an organism that feeds on dead organisms and the waste products of other organisms. Decomposers help nutrients cycle back into the ecosystem. Some examples of decomposers are insects, earthworms and bacteria.Full Answer >