Dinoflagellates are unicellular protists which demonstrate a great range of form. These organisms are mostly marine and photosynthetic.
They appear yellow, green, brown, blue or red depending on the main pigments present in their cells. The cell wall has stiff cellulose plates on the outer surface. Most of them have two flagella; one lies longitudinally and the other transversely in a furrow between the wall plates. Very often, red dianoflagellates (Example: Gonyaulax) undergo such rapid multiplication that they make the sea appear red (red tides). Toxins released by such large numbers may even kill other marine animals such as fishes.