Cellular mitosis in animals follows several steps: interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase and cytokinesis.
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- Interphase - the cell prepares for division during this "resting" cycle; during this period DNA may begin to replicate but chromosomes are not visible
- Prophase - chromatin begins to condense into chromosomes; centrioles form and move to opposite ends of the cell; the nuclear membrane dissolves and the mitotic spindle begins to form
- Metaphase - spindle fibers begin to align the chromosomes towards the center or equator of the cell, pairing them to ensure the equal division of chromosomes in subsequent phases
- Anaphase - the spindles begin to shorten which pulls the paired sets of chromosomes apart, ensuring that each daughter cell gets an identical set
- Telophase - chromosomes decondense and become less visible; new membranes begin to form over the nuclei of the daughter cells
- Cytokinesis - cell cleavage occurs, first appearing as a shallow groove in the cell which causes the formation of a fibrous ring of actin, which is a protein. In effect, this ring closes, pinching off the two daughter cells