Plant cell vs. Animal cell

Plant cell vs. Animal cell

A cell is the smallest building block of living things. The types of cells that form plants and those that form animals have some common features, but are quite distinct in their form and function.

A plant cell is a microscopic building block of plant life that contains organelles within a cell wall. All plants are composed of one or more plant cells. Each cell is generally a fixed rectangular shape surrounded by a rigid cell wall. Within the cell wall, suspended in cytoplasm (a plasma-like substance), are important organelles such as chloroplasts, mitochondria, and a nucleus.

An animal cell is a microscopic building block of life that can exist independently (such as in some bacteria) or combine to form tissues and organs. All animals are composed of one or more animal cells. Each cell has an irregular shape formed by cytoplasm (a plasma-like substance) contained by a cell membrane. Within the cell are important organelles such as ribosomes, mitochondria, and a nucleus.

The clearest distinguishing feature between plant and animal cells are their shape, as plant cells have a firm cell wall that maintains a rectangular shape. Additionally, the organelles perform different functions as required by the plant or animal. For example, plants need chloroplasts to help carry out photosynthesis but animal cells do not.

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