Each animal and plant in the world is made up of a collection of many cells. These cells have different functions that contribute to how an animal or plant functions. Plant and animal cells differ from each other in a number of ways. This is most probably due to the difference in their functions. So what are the differences between plant and animal cells? Read this article to find out.
How are plant cells and animal cells different?
While plant and animal cells share many similarities there are also some considerable differences between the two. One key difference is the cell shape. Plant cells are rigid and rectangular in shape, whereas animal cells tend to be circular is shape. This is because plant cell walls are made of cellulose and animal cells only have a cell membrane. The rigid cell wall of a plant cell allows it to withstand the pressure of excess water collected and stored in the cell. The flexibility of the cell membrane of an animal cell allows it to form any shape that is necessary.
Another obvious difference in the structure of plant and animal cells is the size of the vacuole. Both plant and animal cells have vacuoles, but plants cells have one large vacuole that makes up 90% of the cells volume. This vacuole is surrounded by the plant cells membrane. It stores nutrients, water and waste products. Animal cells generally have many small vacuoles throughout the cell.
Another major difference between plant and animal cells is that plant cells have chloroplasts. These are used in the process of photosynthesis and give the plants their green coloring. Chloroplasts utilize the sunlight to create a food source for the plant. Animal cells do not contain chloroplasts.
The way that plant and animal cells create energy is also different. Plant cells covert carbon dioxide into sugar for use as energy. Animal cells do the opposite and break down sugar back into carbon dioxide from expulsion.