Plant Cell VS. Animal Cell

Differences and Similarities between Plant and Animal Cells.

Animal Cells.

  • Shape - Animal Cells do not have one singular same looking shape. The shape can vary widely. But usually overall it is a round (irregular) shape. They have no cell wall.
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Plant Cells.

  • Shape - Plant Cells have a similar shape unlike animal cells who are different. Plant cells look somewhat similar because of their rigid cell wall. Overall they have a rectangular box like shape. A plant cell has a rigid outer layer or cell wall, where as in animal cells there is no cell wall.
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Organelles (Differences)

Animal Cells


  1. No cell wall.
  2. Small vacuoles (1 or more) that are smaller than the vacuoles of a plant cell.
  3. Centrioles are in all animal cells.
  4. No chloroplast because animals don't make their own food.
  5. No plastids.
  6. Lysosomes occur in cytoplasm.
  7. All animal cells have a cilia.
Plant Cells


  1. Have a rigid layer on the outside called the cell wall. Made of cellulose.
  2. Has one large central vacuole that make up about 90% of the cells volume.
  3. Centrioles were present in all lower plant forms.
  4. Have chloroplasts because a plant makes its own food.
  5. Contain plastids.
  6. There is usually no lysosome evident.
  7. It's rare to see a cilia in a plant cell.

Organelles (Similarities)

  1. Both cells contain cytoplasm.
  2. Both contain endoplasmic reticulum.
  3. Both contain ribosomes.
  4. Both contain mitochondria.
  5. Both contain Golgi apparatus.
  6. Both have cell membrane.
  7. Micro-tubules/ Micro filaments are present in both cells.
  8. Both have a nucleus.
  9. In some plant cells there is a flagella, and in some animal cells there is a flagella.

Functions of Organelles (Similarities)

  • Cell membranes are in all cells and they protect and support the cell wall. It controls the movement of things going in and out of the cell. Maintain homeostasis.
  • Cytoplasm - Protects the organelles of the cell.
  • Ribosomes - Synthesizes/ Processes protein/ food for the cell.
  • Mitochondria - Breaks down glucose (sugar) molecules to give the cell and organism energy.
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum - Carries materials through the cell. Helps making proteins.
  • Golgi Apparatus - Modifies proteins made by the cell. Packages and exports proteins.
  • Nucleus - Controls the cell activities and contains the heredity material of the cell.
  • Flagella - Used for better movement.

Functions of Organelles (Differences)

Animal Cells

  • Centrioles - Separates pairs of chromosomes during mitosis.
  • Lysosome - Breaks down larger food molecules into smaller food molecules and digest old cell parts.
  • Cilia - Helps the animal cell move.
  • Vacuoles - Stores food, water, metabolic, & toxic wastes. Stores large amounts of food. So it's something used to store.
Plant Cells

  • Cell wall - Used to protect the cell and plant a bit more than an animal cell which only has a cell membrane.
  • Vacuole - Has one large cell vacuole that stores food, water, metabolic & toxic wastes. It also stores sugar for plants.
  • Chloroplasts - Uses energy from the sun (photosynthesis) to make food for the plant. Also releases oxygen.
  • Cilia - It's rare to see cilia in a plant cell but it's possible and it help the cell move.
  • Lysosome - If there is lysosome it will help the plant break down glucose (sugar/food).