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Re: Martian fossils (Martiobiota)

Ken Kinman wrote:

I also prefer the spelling Protista rather than "Protoctista"
(thank goodness the latter name hasn't caught on).

I hope the term ?Protista? will soon disappear from usage as well. Those single-celled blobs and creepy-crawlies which _Homo sapiens_ have traditionally lumped together as the ?Protista? represent more than 95% of the diversity of eukaryotic life. The multicellular ?higher? eukaryotes (animals, plants, fungi) each occupy a little twig on the tree which we share with diplomonads, microsporidians, trichomonads, trypanosomes, euglenoids, slime molds, ciliates, dinoflagellates and diatoms. Each are each as different from each other as they are from animals, plants and fungi.

And they're just the ones we know about. The mind boggles thinking about how many gut-infesting, fecal-ingesting, blood-infecting little "protists" might have gone extinct with the dinosaurs.



Timothy J. Williams

USDA/ARS Researcher
Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014

Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax:   515 294 3163

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