There are many differences between plant and animal cells, but one of the most obvious differences is that plant cells have a cell wall. Animal cells do not have a cell wall. Animal cells have an irregular shape, and plant cells have a fixed, rectangular shape.
Cell walls give plant cells their shape and help regulate intercellular communication. The cell wall also allows water, oxygen and carbon dioxide to enter and exit plant cells. Plants use carbon dioxide and water to produce sugar during the process of photosynthesis.
Another important difference between plant and animal cells is the presence of chloroplasts in plant cells. Chloroplasts contain a pigment that absorbs the energy generated by the sun. Plants use this energy to power photosynthesis. Photosynthesis does not occur in animals, so there is no need for chloroplasts in animal cells. Plants cells also possess plastids, but animal cells do not.
Animal cells and plants cells have other various parts, or organelles, in common, such as the smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes and mitochondria. The nucleus acts as the control center of the cell and is present in both animal cells and plant cells. Animals cells have centrioles, but plant cells only have these cylindrical structures in lower plant forms. Lysosomes are common in animal cells, but they are not usually found in plant cells. The lyososomes found in animal cells digest old cell parts and break down large food molecules.