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  • Last Modified 11-04-2024

Animal Cell: Definition, Diagram, Types of Animal Cells


Animal Cell: An animal cell is a eukaryotic cell with membrane-bound cell organelles without a cell wall. We all know that the cell is the fundamental unit of life. A group of cells assemble to form tissues, organs, and organ systems. Animal cells vary in different shapes and sizes and perform specific functions. They are considered to be multicellular organisms. Animal cells have an organized nucleus with a nuclear envelope.

The different animal cells are skin, muscle, blood, nerve and fat cells. Students can check NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Science Chapter 5 to better understand the concepts. This article has provided detailed information on the diagram of animal cell culture for Class 9. Read on to find out its definition, types and structure.

Definition of Animal Cell

An animal cell is a eukaryotic cell having membrane-bound cell organelles without a cell wall.
The cell size varies from a few microns to a few centimetres. For example, the largest animal cell is the ostrich egg measuring 170 mm x 130 mm. We can say that the size of the cell depends on the function it performs. The eukaryotic cells have cell organelles lacking in prokaryotic cells except for the ribosomes. The animal cells consist of the centriole, which carries out cell division.

The animal cells have an organized nucleus with a nuclear envelope. Along with that, it possesses locomotory structures. They have well-organized cell organelles that perform different functions such as plasma membrane, centriole, peroxisome, lysosome, ribosomes, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoplasm, nucleus, nucleolus, nuclear envelope and Golgi apparatus. Below is the detailed animal cell diagram.

Animal Cell
Source: NCERT Textbook

Structure of Animal Cell

Animal cells have different cell organelles that perform specific functions. They are as follows:

Plasma Membrane: It is a semi-permeable membrane surrounding the animal cell. It is made up of lipids embedded with proteins and carbohydrates that regulate the entry and exit of nutrients.

Nuclear Membrane is the outer layer covering the nucleus, also known as the nuclear envelope.

The nucleus is a cell organelle consisting of sub-organelles such as nucleolus, chromatin, and nuclear envelope. It contains genetic materials.

Cytoplasm: It is a jelly-like structure found within the cell membrane. It consists of cell organelles and allows them to move around the cell.

Endoplasmic Reticulum: It is a tiny tubular structure found in the cytoplasm. The ER bearing the ribosomes on its surface is called Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum, whereas the absence of ribosomes is known as Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum. RER is involved in protein synthesis and secretion, whereas SER synthesizes lipid.

Golgi Apparatus is a flat, disc-shaped sac or cisternae near the nucleus. The primary function of the Golgi Apparatus is packaging materials. It is an important site for the formation of glycoproteins and glycolipids.

Lysosomes: It is a membrane-bound vesicular structure formed due to the packaging process of the Golgi Apparatus. These are rich in hydrolytic enzymes and can digest carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids.

Mitochondria is a sausage or cylindrical-shaped structure with a diameter of 0.2-1.0µm and a length of 1.0-4.1µm. Mitochondria are the sites for aerobic respiration and produce energy in ATP.

Ribosomes: It is a granular-shaped structure composed of RNA. It is the site for the synthesis of protein. The eukaryotes consist of 80 S ribosomes.

Peroxisome: An organelle helps digest compounds such as fats and amino acids.

Centrosomes: It is an organelle with two structures known as centrioles surrounded by pericentriolar materials. It is involved in the process of cell division.

Microvilli: It is a needle-like outgrowth extended from the plasma membrane. The villi provide movement of cells or surrounding fluids.

Types of Animal Cell

Animal cells are of different types which perform specific functions in an organism. They are as follows:

Skin Cell: The skin cells from the tissues that protect the body’s external environment. It includes Melanocytes, keratinocytes, Merkel cells and Langerhans cells.

Muscle cells: These are long tubular cells that help in locomotion. It includes skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle cells.

Nerve Cell: These cells are found in the nervous system, also known as neurons. Dendrites and axons are the extensions that send or receive signals. It includes Schwann cells and glial cells.

 Blood Cell: These cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to other body parts. It includes red blood cells (which have no nucleus) and white blood cells (which help fight infections).

Fat Cell: These cells are also known as adipocytes and are used for storing fats and other lipids.

Read more about Typical Plant cells and Animal Cells, Difference between plant cells and animal cells from this link.

FAQs on Animal Cell

The frequently asked questions on animal cells are given below:

Q.1: What is the main function of mitochondria?
Ans: The main function of mitochondria is to produce energy in the form of ATP.

Q.2: What are the types of animal cells?
Ans: The different types of animal cells are muscle, blood, skin, fat and nerve

Q.3: What is an animal cell?
Ans: Animal cell is a eukaryotic cell consisting of cell organelles without cell walls.

Q.4: What are the cell organelles found in the animal cell?
Ans: The cell organelles found in the animal cell are plasma membrane, centriole, peroxisome, lysosome, ribosomes, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoplasm, nucleus, nucleolus, nuclear envelope and Golgi apparatus.

Q.5: What are plant and animal cells called?
Ans: Plant and animal cells are called Eukaryotic because the true nucleus is present.

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