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The Plant and Animal Cell

  • The cell is a single unit of a living organism.
  • Cells are seen with the aid of a microscope.
  • Unicellular organisms are living things which have just one cell. Examples are amoeba, paramecium, euglena, etc.
  • Multi-cellular organisms are living things which have more than one cell. Examples are man, animals, plants, etc.
  • Components of a cell include:
    • Cell Membrane: This is the outermost covering of the cell. It is thin and permeable to water and salts.
    • Cell Wall: It is made up of cellulose. It encloses the outer surface of the cell membrane. It is found in the plant cell. It provides support in the cell.
    • Cytoplasm: This is where chemical activities take place in the cell. It contains vacuoles, nucleus, chloroplasts, etc.
    • Chloroplasts: These contain a green pigment, called chlorophyll, used in photosynthesis. They are present in only plant cells
    • Nucleus: It controls the activities of the cell and it is the center of heredity.
    • Vacuole: It is a small cavity which contains the cell sap. In plants, vacuoles are large but few, whereas in animals, they are small but numerous.

The Plant Cell (Photo Credit: CellDiagram.net)

The Animal Cell (Photo Credit: BiologyWise.com)

Differences between Plant and Animal Cells
  • Plant cells possess cellulose cell wall while animal cells do not.
  • In plant cells, vacuoles are large and few while in animal cells, vacuoles are small and numerous.
  • Chloroplasts are present in plant cells but absent in animal cells.
  • Plant cells are rectangular in shape while animal cells are oval in shape.
  • Plant cells are rigid while animal cells are flexible.
  • In plant cells, the nucleus is at the periphery while in animal cells, the nucleus is at the center of the cell.
Similarities between Plant and Animal Cells
  • Both cells have nuclei.
  • Both cells contain cytoplasms.
  • Both cells have vacuoles.
  • Both cells have cell membranes.
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