There is something unique about our planet. Though all planets are made up of the same matter, somehow, life managed to flourish on our planet. There are many reasons responsible for this that play an important part in our survival. First is the development of animal and plant cells from hydrocarbons and other elements. The presence of oxygen and water. The distance of the planet from a red hot ball of fire called Sun. The existence of the Moon that churns our oceans. The presence of a protective envelope of the atmosphere around us that saves us from radiation and regulates the weather. All these factors are essential, but surprisingly life did not start in this environment.
Fossils found in recent times show that the first signs of life emerged in the deep dark depth of our oceans. A place where lava was bubbling out of seafloor cracks and with tonnes of water above it. This soup of chemicals created first cells that would have never survived in the condition we call favorable. A cell consists of elements like hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements in trace amounts.
These were simple cells with just a membrane and nucleus. Their only function was to reproduce and swallow the stuff. The evolution and changing conditions slowly allowed them to branch out into more complex cells. These complex cells allowed the existence of life as we see it today. Complex life can be differentiated based on animals and plant cells. Though the start was from the same point, along the evolution road, some structural changes on conditions forced them to diverge. This resulted in the development of properties that are polar apart from each other.
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This difference in properties can be understood only when we first learn about the components of both types of cells. Let’s start from cells present in animals.
These are a class of eukaryotic cells, which are made up of several components like the nucleus, organelles, and mitochondria bound by a plasma membrane. The development of the animal kingdom was only possible because of one component that this cell lost millions of years ago. This type of cell does not have a rigid cell wall. This allows these cells to develop into specialized blocks for different organs. They acquire different functions according to the organ that they are part of. The ability of movement is the single biggest defining feature of animals, which wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
Do you know the largest cell in the animal kingdom? It is the egg of an Ostrich. Generally, the size of an animal cell ranges from 1 to 100 microns. For example, the largest cells in the human body are neurons present in our brain. It is not possible to see them without the use of a microscope.
The structure of an animal cell is important to understand because it led to the development of features that are important for animal life. These abilities came because we have specialized brain cells. We have limbs for movement, nerves, and tissues that are specified to perform certain tasks, and bones to provide a core structure that is flexible enough to allow motion. Let’s understand the components.
Now, you have understood the basic structural features of an animal cell. It will be fascinating to learn about the components of a plant cell to understand the contrasts and similarities.
Plants are unique among the eukaryotes, organisms whose cells have membrane-enclosed nuclei and organelles because they can manufacture their own food. Chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color, enables them to use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars and carbohydrates, chemicals the cell uses for fuel.
The plant cell is rectangular and comparatively larger than the animal cell. Even though plant and animal cells are eukaryotic and share a few cell organelles, plant cells are quite distinct when compared to animal cells as they perform different functions. Some of these differences can be clearly understood when the cells are examined under an electron microscope.
Some animals, such as cows, sheep, and goats, can digest cellulose with the help of bacteria in their stomachs. Humans cannot digest cellulose, better known as dietary fiber, which passes through our bodies, and is something that we should eat to keep our waste moving. Lignin fills in the spaces between cellulose and other molecules in the cell wall. It also helps water molecules move from one side of the cell wall to the other – an important function in plants. Here are a few important components of a plant cell.
Plant cells have certain distinguishing features, including chloroplasts, cell walls, and intracellular vacuoles. Photosynthesis takes place in chloroplasts; cell walls allow plants to have strong, upright structures, and vacuoles help regulate how cells handle water and storage of other molecules.
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Both types of cells have some common components, as we learned above. It is important to look at the differences in either functioning of these parts or their existence in cells.
The differences in both types of cells are justified because of their role in the existence of a particular species. But some components feature in both kinds, and it is important to learn about them too.
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As we have already learned about all the important features in cells, we present basic components that are similar in both cells. Their functions are also similar and related to the internal functioning of the cells.
These components are not related to locomotion or diversification of cells based on organ functions. They are inherited from the primitive structure in both types of cells. Some of these components may have mutated over the years to suit the characteristics of a certain species.
Nobody can deny that life has become more complex with evolution. There are new features added with every passing generation. It is hard for students to grasp all this information at once. They require help when they are asked to write complex biology coursework by their professors. Help was never far, but you need to find the best to achieve the grades that you deserve.
Students are engaged in several activities during their studies. The subject associated with living organisms is as complex as these species. One can not keep pace with these details when they have much more to do in the process of building a personality. Getting isolated from social interactions because one subject is bothering you is never a wise choice.
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