What are the taxonomic and evolutionary relationships of the Protozoa to the Protista?

Biosystems. 1981;14(3-4):445-9. doi: 10.1016/0303-2647(81)90049-6.


In order to consider the problems of protist-protozoan interrelationships in proper perspective, a new "packaging" of phyla within the great kingdom Protista is proposed. Although it is based largely on historical groupings and is admittedly "unnatural" (nor are taxonomic names proposed for my five supraphyletic groupings), the arrangement may clarify some long-persisting problems, especially with regard to mixed algal-protozoan groups and/or phylogenies. Some three dozen phyla are recognized as comprising the kingdom, with the number that might be considered as "protozoan" ranging from 10 to 25, depending on one's viewpoint. No taxon should have the formal name "Protozoa", "Phytoflagellate" and "zooflagellate" are also misleading categories. Taxonomic and evolutionary relationships of phyla containing protozoa (with small "p") are inextricably intermeshed with those of other protist phyla, and thus no unified protozoan super-group exists.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Eukaryota / classification*
  • Fungi / classification*
  • Species Specificity