One of the most obvious differences between plant and animal cells is with regard to their general morphology. When compared to plants, they generally have more definite shapes and structures. Whereas animals can take different shapes as per their size and shape ranging from ovoid to spherical. The difference in shape is largely due to the fact that plants have a cell wall that is absent in animal cells.
Just like the plant cells, the animal cells have a cell membrane. This is one of the major barriers that separates the interior parts of the cell from the external environment while regulating the movement of molecules/substances in and out of the cell.
In both plants and animals, the cell membrane is a mosaic that consists of phospholipids, proteins, and cholesterol among other components that move fluidly within the membrane.
A plant cell contains a large, singular vacuole that is used for storage and maintaining the shape of the cell. In contrast, animal cells have many, smaller vacuoles. Plant cells have a cell wall, as well as a cell membrane. Animal cells simply have a cell membrane, but no cell wall.
Due to the nature of the phospholipids among other components, the cell membrane is flexible and thus capable of taking different shapes.
The shape is also dependent on the functions and type of cells. For instance, because nerve cells have to pass signals to send information to and from the central nervous system, they tend to be elongated and branched. Plant cells, on the other hand, have a cell wall in addition to the cell membrane. Here, the cell wall is exterior to the cell membrane.
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