Plant vs Animal Cells
Cells are essential in the makeup of any living being, whether it be a plant or animal, but there is difference between plant and animal cells, which will be discussed here in detail. Most cells, if not all, are invisible to the naked eye, which is why providing a visual difference is hard to do on a plant and animal cell. Once under the microscope, both cells are easily identified with certain characteristics specific to each. Differences between plant cells and animal cells are noted in their structure and functionality though they have many similarities too as both are living things.
What is a Plant Cell?
A plant cell is rectangular in shape; usually it has a fixed shape and size which makes it hard for a plant to adapt to changes in shapes and sizes. A plant cell assumes a regular or fixed shape. This cell is surrounded by a layer of wall called the cellulose which acts as a gateway to allow water and fluid to move in and out freely through osmosis. This allows the cell to absorb as much fluid without bursting. A plant cell also contains chloroplasts which are necessary for producing food inside its cells. It also contains one large vacuole which takes up most of the entire cell volume.
What is an Animal Cell?
An animal cell is irregularly shaped or is somewhat round which allows easy adjustment of animal cells to easily make changes in its shape and size. An animal cell does not have any wall of cellulose surrounding it. This is the reason an animal cell can easily swell and burst when subjected to increasing fluid volume. Unlike in plant cells, animal cells need to excrete the water or fluid out of the cells for it to not burst or swell. If plant cells contain chloroplasts, animal cells do not have any. That is why animals have to eat because, unlike plants, they cannot synthesize their own food. Animal cells do contain vacuoles but are very small compared to the plant cell’s vacuole.
What is the difference between Plant and Animal Cells?
Both plant and animal cells are eukaryotic and both contain chromosomes. Both also contain mitochondria, which plays a crucial role of synthesizing energy for the survival of both cells. A cell membrane stands guard for both cells to protect it from whatever tries to enter into the cell. This controls what gets in or out of both the plant and animal cell. However, there are a few differences between plant and animal cells that set them apart.
• Both plant and animal cells have proper nuclei which has chromosomes to tell the cells exactly what they need to do.
• Both have mitochondria, cytoplasm and cell membrane.
• Animal cells do not have chloroplasts whereas plant cells have chloroplasts.
• An animal cell does not have a cell wall. A plant cell has a cell wall; it has cellulose wall to maintain fluid balance through osmosis.
• Plant cells contain one large vacuole enough to almost take up the entire cell space while animal cells contain smaller vacuoles inside the cells.
• An animal cell is either round or has an irregular shape. A plant cell is rectangular and has a fixed shape.