Plant Cell, Animal Cell & Cell Structure

As brick is to a building, the cell is to body. Cells make up the smallest level of any living being. It is self-sufficient to carry out the entire fundamental functions of an organism. An English researcher named Robert Hooke was credited to coin the term “Cell”. Let’s explore and visualize different cell organelles and their functions in layman terms. Also, learn to differentiate a plant cell from an animal cell.

Cell Building block

Cell Theory

According to the Cell theory postulates, “A cell is the basic structural and functional unit of any living organism”. What makes a cell the structural and functional unit? It is the components known as cell organelles.

Cell Structure

Shape and size of the cells vary according to their functions and composition. Considering an animal cell, we can generalize the shape of a cell as round (spherical) or irregular. Plant cells are much more rigid and rectangular in shape. The size of a cell can be as small as 0.0001 mm (mycoplasma) and as large as six to twelve inches (Caulerpa taxifolia).Whether it’s
regular or irregular in shape, they all consist of same organelles.

Cell structureCell Organelles

All cells have three main constituents i.e. plasma membrane, nucleus and cytoplasm. Organelles which are common to both plant and animal cell are as follow.

Cell organelles


Plasma membrane



Golgi apparatus

Endoplasmic reticulum





Cell organelles present only in plant cell:

Cell wall


Animal Cell Vs Plant Cell

Cell organelles carry out different functions in a cell. Depending upon the functions a plant cell  contains certain special organelles which are absent in an animal cell like plastids and cell walls. Also, size and the number of organelles in a plant cell  varies from an animal cell. For example, a plant cell contains large single vacuole but an animal cell contains small and very few vacuoles.

Plant cell Vs Animal cell

Table Plant cell Vs Animal cell

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Practise This Question

Two thermally insulated vessels 1 and 2 are filled with air at temperatures (T1,T2), volume (V1,V2) and pressure (P1,P2) respectively. If the valve joining the two vessels is opened, the temperature inside the vessel at equilibrium will be