Animal and plant cells have a number of key similarities, but also some noted differences. In order to understanding basic cell structure, it helps to understand the differences between plant cells and animal cells. They differ in important ways, as plant cells have to provide different functions for the plant, just as the animal cells do for the body.
Both animal and plant cells have some similar structural elements. First off they are both eukaryotic, which means they have a defined nucleus. This nucleus contains chromosomes, and it is protected and surrounded by the cytoplasm, which is a watery or gel-like liquid. Furthermore, both animal and plant cells have a cell membrane that surrounds the cell. This allows for the cell to exert control, in most cases, over what can penetrate the cell, and what cannot.
One of the primary differences between animal and plant cells is that plant cells have a cell wall made up of cellulose. This helps the plant cells to allow high pressure to build inside of it, without bursting. A plant cell has to be able to accept large amounts of liquid through osmosis, without being destroyed. An animal cell does not have this cell wall. If you start to fill the animal cell with too much distilled water or other fluid, it will eventually rupture.
MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PLANT AND ANIMAL CELLS • Plant cells have a cell wall surrounding cell membrane, whereas animal cells only have a cell membrane. • Plant cells have chloroplasts that help in photosynthesis. These are absent in animal cells. • Animal cells have small vacuoles in comparison to plant cells that have a large vacuole. • Plant cells are mostly regular in size and rectangular in shape whereas animal cells vary greatly in size and shape. • Plant cells have a large fluid sac called vacuole while animal cells have many small vacuoles. • Plant cells are larger and rectangular whereas animal cells are smaller and circular in shape
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