The Animal Cell, Biology tutorial


Animal cells are typical of the eukaryotic cell, surrounded by a plasma membrane and having a membrane-bound organelles and nucleus. Dissimilar the eukaryotic cells of fungi and plants, animal cells don't encompass a cell wall. Most of the cells, both plant and animal, range in size between 1 and 100 micrometers and are therefore only visible with the assistance of a microscope.

Major Structural components of an Animal Cell:

The animal cell consists of different organelles, structures which serve up various functions. Descriptions of some of the organelles are as follows:

1) Endoplasmic Reticulum:

The endoplasmic reticulum is a network of sacs which creates, processes, and transports chemical compounds for use within and outside of the cell. It is joined to the double-layered nuclear envelope, giving a pipeline among the nucleus and the cytoplasm.

The ER comes in two sections:

  • Rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) 
  • Smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER)

a) The Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum (RER):

The RER is usually ordered as interconnecting stacks of disc-like sacs. The cytosolic surface of the RER is studded having ribosomes engaged in the protein synthesis. The ribosomes build the RER surface to be rough.

b) The Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum (SER):

The smooth endoplasmic reticulum distinct from the RER in lacking joined ribosomes and generally being tubular instead of disc-like. The main function of SER is the synthesis of lipids from which different cell membranes are build up or which, like steroids are secreted from the cell.

2) Golgi Apparatus:

The Golgi apparatus is the allocation and shipping department for the chemical products of cell. It transforms fats and proteins, built in the endoplasmic reticulum and makes them for export to the outside of the cell.

3) Lysosomes:

Lysosomes are about spherical bodies enclosed through a single membrane. They are prepared by the Golgi apparatus. The major function of such micro bodies is digestion. Lysosomes break down the cellular waste products and debris from outside the cell into simple compounds that are transferred to the cytoplasm as latest cell-building materials.

4) Microfilaments:

Microfilaments are solid rods build up of globular proteins termed as actin. Such filaments are mainly structural in function and are significant component of the cytoskeleton.

5) Microtubules:

These straight, hollow cylinders are found all through the cytoplasm of all the eukaryotic cells (prokaryotes don't have them) and carry out a diversity of functions, ranging from transport to the structural support.

6) Mitochondria:

Mitochondria are oblong shaped organelles which are found in the cytoplasm of each and every eukaryotic cell. In animal cell, they are the major power generators, transforming oxygen and nutrients to the chemical energy of ATP.

7) Nucleus:

The nucleus is a highly specific organelle which serves up as the information processing and administrative center of the cell. This organelle consists of two main functions: it stores the hereditary material of the cell, or DNA, and it coordinates the activities of cell that comprise growth, intermediary metabolism, protein synthesis and reproduction (that is, cell division).

8) Peroxisomes:

Micro bodies are a diverse group of organelles which are found in the cytoplasm, roughly spherical and bound through a single membrane. There are numerous kinds of micro bodies however peroxisomes are the most general.

9) Cell Membrane:

One general characteristic of all animal cells is the presence of the outer limiting membrane termed as the plasma or cell membrane. Moreover, all eukaryotic cells include elaborate systems of internal membranes which set up different membrane-enclosed compartments in the cell. Cell membranes are built from proteins and lipids. All living cells encompass a plasma membrane which surrounds their contents. In prokaryotes, the membrane is the inner layer of protection bounded by a rigid cell wall. Eukaryotic animal cells have merely the membrane to contain and protect their contents. Such membranes as well regulate the passage of molecules in and out of the cells. In plant cells, the rigid cell wall guards their cell membrane.

10) Ribosomes:

All living cells comprise of ribosomes, tiny organelles composed of around 60 percent RNA and 40 percent protein. In eukaryotes, ribosomes are building up of four strands of RNA. In prokaryotes, they comprises of three strands of RNA.

11) Chromatin:

The nucleus includes the chromosomes of the cell. Each chromosome comprises of a single molecule of DNA complied with an equivalent mass of proteins. Together, the DNA of the nucleus having its associated proteins is termed as chromatin. Most of the protein comprises of multiple copies of 5 types of histones. These are fundamental proteins, bristling with positively charged Arginine and lysine residues.

12) Centrosomes and Centrioles:

Centrioles are self-replicating organelles build up of nine bundles of microtubules and are found merely in the animal cells. They come out to assist in organizing cell division, however are not vital to the procedure.

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