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Monera Kingdom (Moneran)

The Monera Kingdom (or Moneran Kingdom) includes all organisms that have cells that do not contain a nucleus. These cells are also known as prokaryotic cells.  These organisms are very simple and are usually only as big as one cell!  They are very common on earth and you interact with organisms in this kingdom every day.

Monera in the monera kingdom under a microscope.

The Monera Kingdom consists of unicellular lifeforms. Unicellular means that they only have one cell. These cells have no nucleus, and are missing many organelles, or parts, found in other cells. Monera are considered, by many scientists, to be the oldest life forms on Earth. They are probably the ancestors of all living organisms on our planet.

What Do They Look Like

The majority of organisms in the Monera kingdom are bacteria.  So when you hear someone say “Monera Kingdom” they probably are talking about bacteria.   These organisms are very, very small and simple. 

They do not contain common cell organelles you would find in a plant or animal cell. For instance, you will not find the mitochondria or endoplasmic reticulum in a bacteria cell. Also, monera do not have a nucleus, instead the DNA floats around inside the cell wall.

Imagine that you have a bowl of vegetable soup.  The bowl holds all the soup together and the vegetables are free to float around in the bowl how they want.  This is what a bacteria organism looks like.  The bowl is the cell wall and the vegetables are the DNA inside the cell wall.

Diagram of a bacteria cell. DNA is allowed to float freely inside of the cell wall of a bacteria cell.

DNA is allowed to float freely inside of the cell wall of a bacteria cell.

Monera (Moneran) Classification

Monera are classified into two phyla, or groups: autotrophs and heterotrophs. Autotrophsare able to create their own food, similar to plants. Heterotrophs cannot create their own food, and must rely on autotrophs as their food source.

Where Can You Find Them

You may not know it, but you are actually surrounded by bacteria each day!  Many people think that all bacteria is bad because they cause sickness and disease.  But some bacteria are actually necessary for humans to survive.  Organisms in the Monera kingdom have learned to adapt to very harsh environments.  You can find them in lakes, the desert, under glaciers, geysers, and even inside of humans and animals.  Everyone has bacteria in their digestive system to help break down food and stay healthy.
Image of salmonella bacteria in the monera kingdom.

Salmonella bacteria can be found on your food and can be painful to humans.

How Do They Reproduce

If these organisms are so common in everyday life, how do they reproduce?  Because these organisms are very simple they do not have legs to walk or fins to swim.  In fact only a few of them have flagella to move.  Flagella are tiny tails on the end of the cell that whip back and forth to help the organism move.  The organisms without flagella cannot move on their own. 

Because they struggle to move, organisms in the Monera kingdom replicate thru fission.  Fission is a process in which the cell copies its own DNA and splits into two identical cells all by itself.  Some organisms do this every 30 minutes! Imagine if you could make your very own clone all by yourself!

Image showing how bacteria reproduce.

Bacteria cell clone themselves and then split apart.

Written by: Daniel Gabioud