Giorgio Carboni, March 2000
Translation edited by Giselle Walker
PRESENTATION OF THE PARK
Welcome to Protist Park, the first and most famous park of Protists in the world! It will introduce you some wonders of the protist kingdom. Before venturing alone in this unusual world, risking phagocytosis by the organisms which live here, we recommend you read these few lines.
We think that the protist kingdom deserves to be better known. It is like a parallel dimension within our planet. Thousands of species of organisms live in this dimension. They show great diversity of appearance, habits, movement, and feeding. Observing protists is fascinating because of the variety and the beauty of these organisms. Such extreme variety of forms, ways of life, feeding strategies, systems of movement and reproduction leads us to question how we think about how we do these things. It also helps us to overcome the anthropocentrism, that is the prejudice that the things humans do are normal and the way other organisms work is not normal. A journey among protists widens the horizons of the mind, shows how much the possible forms of life are varied and it help us to place humans in a different perspective, but also to better appreciate it for its own characteristics.
To introduce visitors to the fascinating protist kingdom, our park will put at their disposal rooms with microscopes, others with protist cultures, other rooms for showing documentaries, finally a Miniaturizator to reduce you to the dimensions of a microorganism so that you can take a trip in the pond of the park, and meet some protists directly. That park is still being built, so for the moment, we can offer you the following articles.
LIST OF THE ARTICLES
1 - Introduction to the Protists
Quickly describes what these microscopic organisms named protists are.
2 - Exhibition of Movies on the Protists
This exhibition is formed by 38 movies of microorganisms, mostly protists. The exhibition is quick to visit, because it supplies you with the main information. Moreover, from its list of protists you'll be able to move from one protist to another easily, even if you observe them in a different sequence from the one suggested.
3 - Journey in the Kingdom of the Protists
If you have a bit of time at your disposal and if you like adventure stories, you can read the short story that we have written. Here, together with the protagonists, you will meet some of the most interesting protists and other minuscule inhabitants of ponds. This story is very undemanding, its only purpose is to introduce you to pond life and to give you an idea of the wonders thereof. We hope it will succeed in making the observation of the movies more interesting to you. It follows the suggested order of movies mentioned above. Given the introductory nature of this story, we have not inserted all the movies, but only a choice of the 26 more meaningful ones.
4 - You are encouraged to visit all of the pages, that is the Introduction, the Exhibition and the short Story.
Obviously our collection of movies from the protist kingdom is not exhaustive. A mentioned elsewhere, the diversity of protist species is enormous. We have included those specimens which seemed to be the most beautiful of those we have met on our microscopic safari. Our aim is simply to introduce you to the protist kingdom, not to describe it in detail. Finally, some movies depict multicellular organisms whose size is comparable to that of protists and which live with them.
... Perhaps this isn't really the first ever protistan park, nor might
it be the world's most famous,
but we are convinced that if you have never visited parks of this type, you will like it!
HAVE A GOOD TIME!
... ~o (((@
(N.B. No correspondence will be entered into over lost children or lost parents or people remaining in the microscopic dimension).
We would like to thank Giselle Walker, Protistologist, for checking the texts from a biological and grammatical point of view.