The Cell

As we briefly discussed in the previous post, there are two types of cells. There are eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. We, humans, are all made up of eukaryotic cells. Where prokaryotic cells make up bacteria.

  • Eukarotic cells have a membrane bound nucleus and membrane bound organells (little organs). These are usually much larger than prokaryotes. These make up plants and animals. Note: Plant and animal cells are very different, although they are both eukarotic cells.
  • Prokaryotic cells lack membrane bound nucleus and membrane bound organells. Usually smaller thank eukaryotes. There are different shapes and types of prokaryotic cells. We will discuss those later in the class.

Eukaryotic Animal Cell (source)

Eukaryotic Plant Cell (source)

Prokaryotic Cell (source)

Note that all these cells are different. Take for instance, a plant cell has a very large vacuole which is lacking in animal cells, although they are both eukaryotes. Plant cells also have specialized chloroplast which allows them to make food and energy from the sun. Animal cells do not photosynthesize, thus must eat other organisms to obtain energy.

Prokaryotic cells are much simpler and basic than eukaryotic cells. It is believed that prokaryotes gave rise to eukaryotes after billions of years of evolution. Although prokaryotes are smaller and simpler, do not be deceived. Prokaryotes are very well adapted to their environments and continue to amaze scientists in their abilities.

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