Animal cells and plant cells are similar in many ways because both are eukaryotic cells, meaning they have a nucleus and organelles bound to membranes. There are, however, some key differences between plant cells and animal cells:
- Plant cells have a cell wall that surrounds their membrane, providing extra support and protection. There is no cell wall in animal cells.
- Photosynthesis occurs when plants convert light energy into chemical energy by using chloroplasts, which are organelles found in plant cells. Chloroplasts are not found in animal cells.
- There is usually a large central vacuole in plant cells, which is a fluid-filled organelle that stores water, enzymes, and other substances. There is no central vacuole in animal cells.
- The size of plant cells is generally larger than that of animal cells.
- Plant cells can have any shape, but they are usually rectangular or square. The shape of animal cells is usually round or oval.