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Animal Cell

Animal Cell Definition:

Animal cells, which are the fundamental units of life in the Animal Kingdom, are eukaryotic cells. This means that they contain a true (membrane-bound nucleus) along with other membrane-bound organelles. All these work together to perform specific functions that are needed for the proper functioning of the cell. Although plant cells are also eukaryotic cells, the animal cells can be differentiated by them by the cell walls and chloroplasts. These things cannot be found in an animal cell.

Components of the Animal Cell:

The structures and organelles that can be seen in a typical animal cell are as follows:

Cell Membrane:

This is a thin, semi-permeable membrane that envelopes the components of the cell. This would allow some substances to enter into the cell and block others.

Centrioles:

These are the cylindrical structures, which would structure the arrangement of microtubules during the process of cell division.

Cilia/Flagella:

These are the special group of microtubules that are found to be protruding from some cells. The primary function of these organelles is that they help with locomotion of the cells.

Cytoplasm:

This is the gel-like substance that is found outside the nucleus of the cell. This is where the other organelles of the cell are suspended.

Cytoskeleton:

This is the group of interconnected tubules that are found all over the cytoplasm. The cytoskeleton of the cell has many roles to play in the cell. The main functions include providing the cell support and helping the cell to maintain its shape.

Endoplasmic Reticulum:

This is a broader network of membranes containing two types of regions: one is with ribosomes and the other is without ribosomes. Here, Ribosomes are the organelles that are accountable for protein assembly. The components of ribosomes include RNA and proteins. The functions of the endoplasmic reticulum include manufacturing, processing, as well as transporting the chemical compounds that are to be used inside/outside the cell.

Endosomes:

These are the membrane-bound vesicles that are found in the cytoplasm of all the animal cells.

Golgi complex:

This, which is otherwise called as Golgi apparatus, is the organelle that is responsible for synthesizing, storing, as well as transporting some cell products.

Intermediate Filaments:

These represent a broad group of fibrous proteins and play some important structural and functional roles in the cytoskeleton. These, as tension-bearing elements, would help maintain the shape and rigidity of the animal cell.

Lysosomes:

These are the sacs of enzymes whose function is to digest the cell wastes. These microbodies will break down the cell waste, as well as debris from outside of the cell into simple compounds after which they will be transported to the cytoplasm as new building materials.

Microfilaments:

These are the solid rod structures made of the protein called actin. The primary role of these filaments is structural and these are important components of the cytoskeleton.

Microtubules:

These are the straight, hollow cylindrical structures that are found all over the cytoplasm. They have various roles to play in the cell.

Mitochondria:

This is the oblong-shaped organelle that is found to be the primary power generator of the cell. They generate energy from oxygen and nutrients.

Nucleus:

This is a specialized organelle with two major functions: One is to store the hereditary information of the cell and the other is to coordinate the activities of the cell. Within the nucleus, we can find nucleolus, which helps in the ribosome synthesis, and nucleopore, which allows the nucleic acids and proteins to pass in and out of the nucleus.

Peroxisomes:

These are the spherical bodies with a single membrane and are found in the cytoplasm. These are the most common type of microbodies found in the animal cells.

Vacuole:

This is the membrane-bound organelle that is present inside the animal cell. The main functions of the vacuole include maintaining the shape of the cell and storage of food, water, and wastes.

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