What Are the Different Parts of an Animal Cell?

An animal cell contains a nucleus, cytoplasm that contains the various organelles and a cell membrane, also called a plasma membrane. The nucleus is the largest of the organelles and governs cell activity. It also contains chromosomes, made up of tiny strands of DNA that replicate when the cell divides.

The cytoplasm is a liquid that contains the nutrients needed to nourish the various parts of the cell. It is like a tiny swimming pool with the organelles floating around, absorbing sugars and proteins as they take care of their individual tasks. The cell membrane is the outer lining of the cell. It acts like a gatekeeper, controlling what molecules are allowed into and out of the cell through tiny pores.

The mitochondria produce ATP, which is an energy molecule that stimulates the other organelles in the cell. Ribosomes create the proteins the cell needs, which are then sent to the endoplasmic reticulum for further preparation.

The proteins then go to the Golgi apparatus for packaging into tiny sacs called vacuoles, which are storage containers that float in the cytoplasm. Some of the material produced by the Golgi apparatus is pushed out of the cell membrane to nourish other parts of the organism. The lysosomes and peroxisomes break down wastes in the cell, recycling material if possible and filtering out any harmful substances.