Inside The Cell: Animal And Plant Cells For Kids | Kidadl


Inside The Cell: Animal And Plant Cells For Kids

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Cells are the building blocks of all living organisms.

Plants and animals have eukaryotic cells. These cells comprise a true nucleus and other cell organelles.

Robert Hooke discovered the cell in the year 1665 after he invented the microscope. Later, the cells are studied in more detail with the improved microscope invented by Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who is called the father of microbiology. Cells are of two main types, prokaryotic cells, and eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells are mainly seen in bacteria and other microscopic organisms with single cells. All the vital processes are carried out by the cells in both bacteria and higher organisms. The entire body's shape and size depend on the cells. Therefore, cells are considered the structural and functional units of life. Eukaryotic cells come in an array of shapes and sizes, each with its own distinct functions. The smallest cell is mycoplasma, whereas the largest cell is that of an ostrich egg. A group of cells working together to execute a single function is called a tissue. Both plant and animal cells divide to produce new cells. This production of new cells from preexisting cells is brought about by the cell division processes, which are of two main types, meiosis and mitosis. Both plants and animals possess the cell membrane, and specialized structures called organelles. These are the cytoplasm, nucleus, Golgi apparatus, and mitochondria. The key cell components were studied by the German scientists, Theodore Schwann and Mattias Schleiden, who put forth the cell theory of the living organism. Keep reading to understand the discovery and cell components in detail.

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Plant Cell Discovery, Definition, and Example

Plant cells were first discovered by Robert Hooke, who observed the dead cell walls in a cork under his compound microscope. All plants are made of the eukaryotic cell which bears a true nucleus and membrane-bound cell organelles.

Unlike animal cells, plants possess an extra layer of outer covering on their cells, which is called the cell wall. The cell wall is made up of cellulose, a complex polysaccharide that provides mechanical support to the body. It is also responsible for giving the plants their proper body structure. After this rigid wall comes to the cell membrane, or plasma membrane, which surrounds the cytoplasm. All the cell organelles, including the nucleus, are embedded in the cytoplasm of the cell. Chloroplasts and vacuoles are the only cell organelles found in plant cells. Chloroplasts are responsible for imparting color to the plants. There are three main types, chromoplasts, leucoplasts, and chloroplasts. The green color of the plants is brought out by the chlorophyll present in the green chloroplast. This helps them carry out photosynthesis in the presence of sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. All the exposed surfaces of the plant body contain chlorophyll-containing chloroplasts that help in the process of photosynthesis. Only plant cells are capable of making their own food in their bodies. They take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, which is an absolute necessity for sustaining life. Therefore, all the animals are dependent on plants. Vacuoles present in the plant cells are basically storage organs, that help in the accumulation of excess cell sap. This cell sap also helps in the process of osmosis, which is a food transportation function in plants. The tissues involved in transportation are the xylem and phloem. The various examples of plant cells are parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma.

Animal Cell Discovery, Definition, and Example

Although the initial discovery of cells was made by Robert Hooke, Anton van Leeuwenhoek first discovered the animal sperm cells under his microscope. Later, the different cell components were explained in detail by Theodore and Schwann.

Animal cells are responsible for carrying out all vital functions. The assimilation of all the nutrients is carried out within the cells, which constitutes a cascade of enzymatic reactions. Centrioles are the only organelles that are present exclusively in animal cells. They help in carrying out the cell division process in animals. Other functions include the formation of spindle fibers and the formation of cilia. Animal cells are of various types. These are the epithelial, skeletal, connective, nerve, and reproductive cells. Animal cells contain pigments that impart color to the cells. The cells that contain the pigment hemoglobin are red in color, while the cells that contain the pigment hemocyanin are bluish in color. The animal cell cytoplasm is a jelly-like matrix or ground substance that is pinkish in color. The nerve cells are gray in color due to the presence of lipid content in the myelin sheath of the nerve cell. Various proteins are present in the animal cells. albumins, globulins, glutelins, and prolamines. The genetic material, or DNA, is present within the nucleus of the cells. Ribosomes are tiny granules scattered all over the cytoplasm, which help in protein synthesis. The endoplasmic reticulum helps with calcium storage and lipid metabolism. The Golgi apparatus plays a major role in the transportation and packaging of proteins that are required to carry out the metabolic processes. Six examples of animal cell types are adipocytes, leucocytes, nerve cells, nephrons, hepatocytes, and red blood cells.

Animal and Plant Cells Have in Common

The cell membrane is common in both plants and animal cells, along with several other organelles.

Cytoplasm, Golgi body, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, mitochondria, nucleus, and lysosomes are all present in both plant and animal cells. Several chemical reactions take place in the various organelles. There are plenty of differences between plant and animal cells, of which five examples are given here. Plants possess a cell wall made up of cellulose, whereas animals do not have any cell walls. Animal cells possess centrioles that are not found in plant cells. Vacuoles and chloroplasts are present in plant cells, and therefore, plants are capable of making their own food through the process of photosynthesis. All other organisms are dependent on plants for food and oxygen. Animal cells require oxygen to survive and give out carbon dioxide as a byproduct. The reverse is followed in plant cells. Often, animal cells are irregular in shape, whereas plant cells are square or rectangular in shape. The nucleus in plant cells is mostly seen at the periphery, but the animal cell nucleus is centrally located. Ciliated cells are not seen in plants. A few animal cells have ciliated cell membranes. Also, different proteins are present in animal and plant cells that carry out separate physiological functions.

Cell walls are absent in animal cells.

Which structure is common to plant and animal cells?

Plants and animals have the cell membrane in common along with other cell organelles inside the cytoplasm like the Golgi body, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, mitochondria, nucleus, and lysosomes.

The chloroplasts in plant cells help in photosynthesis. Oxygen is liberated as a byproduct. Animals require this oxygen to survive. Respiration in plants is carried out by means of transpiration. Minute pores, called stomata, are present in the exposed parts of the plant body that carry out this process. An excess amount of water is lost by transpiration, which in turn helps to maintain a balance in the water cycle. 

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<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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