Monera Kingdom Lesson for Kids: Characteristics & Facts

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Have you ever wondered what the most plentiful organism on Earth is? It's not people. Read this lesson to find out about these hidden, abundant organisms, including where they live, what they're like, and how they impact our lives.

One-Celled Organisms

Have you ever had a really bad sore throat called a ''strep throat,'' or gotten sick after eating ''bad'' food? In both these cases, what made you sick were tiny, one-celled organisms called bacteria.

E. coli bacteria in food can make people very sick.
e coli

That's right! It wasn't the food that made you sick; it was microscopic living things inside the food. Yuck, right? Well, there are some good things that bacteria can do, too. Let's find out more about these tiny organisms.

What Is the Monera Kingdom?

All living things that are unicellular, which means they have only one cell, belong to the Monera Kingdom. ''Monera'' is pronounced ''muh-NEER-uh.'' You may remember that living things are divided into groups, called kingdoms, according to their characteristics. Kingdoms can be large groups that contain many animals, so most of them are also divided into smaller groups.

The Monera Kingdom includes living things that have these traits:

  • The whole organism is made up of just one cell.
  • The cell is more basic than cells of other organisms. They don't have all the same parts as cells in our bodies, for example.
  • Most reproduce through fission, which means that the single cell divides into two identical cells, creating a new organism.
  • They can often withstand very cold and very high temperatures, so they can live just about anywhere. Because of this, there are more Monera on Earth than any other type of living organism.

Oldest Organisms on Earth

Many scientists think that the organisms in the Monera Kingdom are the oldest organisms on Earth. They're also believed to be the ancestors of all other organisms that developed after them.

There are two different types of organisms in the Monera Kingdom, heterotrophs and autotrophs.

Autotrophs are organisms that can create their own food. Heterotrophs can't make their own food, so they live by eating autotrophs or other heterotrophs.

Blue-green algae are in the Monera Kingdom. They are autotrophs.

Blue-green algae is one type of Monera that is an autotroph; these organisms can make their own food using chlorophyll and sunlight, similar to the way plants make food.

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