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Parts of an Animal Cell and Their Functions

A cell is the basic structural unit of all known living things. It’s the building block and operational unit of life because it facilitates basic life processes like breathing, eating, digesting, and eliminating waste. A cell is a microscopic unit comprised of cytoplasm and a nucleus that are separated by a membrane. Lets learn more about parts of an animal cell and their functions.

Animal Cell Definition

Animal cells are typical eukaryotic cells consisting of a membrane-bound nucleus containing DNA. It consists of additional cellular structures and organelles that carry out specialised duties necessary for the cell to function properly. Even though plant cells are eukaryotic, they can be distinguished from animal cells by the absence of photosynthesis-carrying chloroplasts.

Animal Cell Explanation

Animal cells, a type of eukaryotic cell, lack a cell wall and have a membrane-bound nucleus in addition to other cellular organelles. Animal cells can range in size from a few microns to a few millimetres. The ostrich egg is the largest known animal cell, measuring over 13 centimetres in diameter and weighing over 1.4 kilograms. This stands in stark contrast to the average neuron size in the human body, which is only 100 microns.

Additionally, the shape of animal cells can vary; some are flat, while others are oval or rod-shaped. Also offered are intriguing shapes such as curved, spherical, concave, and rectangular. Due to their microscopic size, the majority of cells can only be viewed using a microscope. As previously stated, animal cells are eukaryotic cells with a membrane-bound nucleus. Additionally, DNA is evident in the nucleus of these cells. In addition, they consist of additional cellular structures and membrane-bound organelles that conduct the specialised activities necessary for a cell to function properly.

Animal Cell Diagram

simple animal cell structure

Figure 1: Animal Cell Diagram

Animal Cell Structure

Animal cells are often smaller than plant cells. Its irregular shape is another noticeable characteristic. This is due to the absence of a cell wall. Due to the fact that plant and animal cells are both descended from eukaryotic cells, they share some cellular organelles. The following organelles comprise a typical animal cell:

  1. Cell Membrane: A thin, protein- and lipid-rich membrane that covers the cell and lets some things in and out. Its main job is to protect the cell from the outside world. It also controls how food and other small things get into and out of the cell. Because of this, cell membranes are sometimes called semi-permeable membranes or selectively permeable membranes.
  2. Nucleus: The nucleolus, nucleosomes, and chromatins are all sub-organelles found within this organelle. In addition to DNA and chromosomes, it also has other genetic components.
  3. Nuclear Membrane: Around the nucleus lies a double-membrane structure. The nuclear envelope is another name for it.
  4. Centrosomes: Located adjacent to the nucleus, the centrosome is a small organelle. Radiating tubules encircle the dense centre of the structure. Centrosomes are responsible for the formation of microtubules.

  5. Lysosomes: Lysosomes are spherical organelles with a membrane enclosing them that contain digestive enzymes that aid in digestion, excretion, and cell renewal.

  6. Cytoplasm: A jelly-like material which contains all the cell organelles, enclosed within the cell membrane. The substance found within the cell nucleus, contained by the nuclear membrane is called the nucleoplasm.

  7. Golgi Apparatus: A flat, smooth-layered organelle that looks like a sac and is close to the nucleus. It makes particles, stores them, packs them, and moves them around the cell.

  8. Mitochondrion: They are organelles that are round or rod-shaped and have two membranes. They are the powerhouse of a cell because they are so important to the process of energy release.

  9. Ribosomes: These are very small organelles that are found throughout the cytoplasm and are formed of granules that are abundant in RNA. They are the sites of protein synthesis.

  10. Endoplasmic Reticulum: This cellular organelle is made up of a nucleus-derived thin, spiraling network of membranous sacs.

  11. Vacuole: A small organ inside a cell that has a membrane that helps the cell keep its shape and store things like food, water, waste, and other things.

  12. Nucleopore: The passage of nucleic acids and proteins through the nuclear membrane is facilitated by these microscopic perforations in the membrane.

Animal Cell Types

types of animal cells and tissues

Figure 2: Parts of an Animal Cell and Their Functions

Different types of cells in animals provide specific functions. These are the most common kinds of cells seen in animals:

  1. Skin Cells: “Skin cells” can refer to any of the four main types of cells that make up the epidermis. The Langerhans cells, Merkel cells, keratinocytes, and melanocytes make up this group. The way each type of skin cell works affects how the skin is put together and how it works as a whole.
  2. Muscle Cells: Since cardiac muscle cells and smooth muscle cells are both tiny cells, a muscle cell is also referred to as a myocyte.
  3. Blood Cells: Blood cells, also called hematopoietic cells, are a type of cell that are mostly found in the blood and are made during the process of hematopoiesis.
  4. Nerve Cells: a type of cell that sends and receives messages between the body and the brain. A small amount of electricity is used to send the messages. Called a neuron as well.
  5. Fat Cells: The vast majority of adipose tissue is composed of fat cells, which are excellent at storing energy in the form of fat.


FAQs on Parts of an Animal Cell and Their Functions

A cell of the animal kingdom is called an animal cell since it is found only in animal tissues. The organelles of the cell are contained within the cell membrane; there is no cell wall.

Nucleus- contain all the genetic information of the cell.

The main place where proteins are made is on ribosomes, which can be found in the rough endoplasmic reticulum or floating in the cytoplasm.

Mitochondria make ATP, which is the cell’s energy currency. Because of this, mitochondria are sometimes called the “powerhouse” of the cell.

The nuclear membrane is another name for the nuclear envelope. It is made up of two membranes with lipids on both sides.

It can be found under your skin (called subcutaneous fat), between your organs (called visceral fat), and even in the hollows of your bones (bone marrow adipose tissue). Most people know that body fat stores and releases energy and keeps the body warm.

Skin cells, muscle cells, blood cells, fat cells, nerve cells, sex cells, and stem cells are the major types of animal cells.