What are the similarities between plant and animal cells?


Quick Answer

Plant and animal cells have many of the same organelles, they both divide to reproduce, and they share similar basic structure. Scientists cite these similarities as evidence that all life evolved from a common ancestor.

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What are the similarities between plant and animal cells?
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Full Answer

Eukaryotic cells, which are plant and animal cells, contain a nucleus, which distinguishes them from more primitive cells, such as those of bacteria. Inside the nucleus, both plant and animal cells have smaller compartments, called the nucleolus. The nucleolus contains the DNA for the plant or animal, and it serves as a set of instructions for building the various proteins that the organism needs. The DNA is usually clustered into groups called chromosomes.

Plant and animal cells both contain mitochondria. Mitochondria function as the primary energy source for the cell. Mitochondria were probably free-living bacteria that now live symbiotically in plant and animal cells. Vacuoles, used in the transport of resources, are found in both types of cells.

Both plant and animal cells also contain a structure known as the Golgi apparatus, as well as the endoplasmic reticulum. Reproductive plant cells and some animal cells have flagella that they use to move about. While plant cells have cell walls that animal cells lack, both have outer boundaries called cellular membranes.

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