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The structure of the animal cell: learn about all of the parts of this eukyrotic cell in detail..

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Horizontal infographics


Horizontal infographics


Horizontal infographics


Horizontal infographics


Horizontal infographics


The typical eukaryotic animal cell contains membranous organelles and nonmembranous organelles in the cytoplasm, which characterize it and allow it to perform heterotrophic nutrition.

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animal cell


Some of the membranous organelles of eukaryotic cells are the smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, mitochondria and nucleus. They also have nonmembranous organelles, such as ribosomes, the cytoskeleton, and, in the case of animal cells, the centrosome.


  • Processing and managing cell information.



  • Normally, eukaryotic cells have only one nucleus, but there can be exceptions.


  • The shape of this organelle varies depending on the cell in which it is found, but it is usually round.

Nucleus This is the characteristic structure of eukaryotic cells. It stores the genetic material in the form of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and is responsible for coordinating the activities of the cell: from growth to reproduction. The nucleus also has a visible structure called the nucleolus, which is formed by the concentration of chromatin and proteins. Mammals have between 1 and 5 nucleoli in the cell.

rough endoplasmic reticulum


  • It gets its name due to the appearance of ribosomes attached to its surface.


  • Responsible for producing, storing, and transporting proteins.

Rough endoplasmic reticulum: The endoplasmic reticulum is an organelle shaped like flattened sacks and tubules stacked together which share the same internal space. The reticulum is organized into several domains including the rough endoplasmic reticulum, with flattened membranes and associated ribosomes.

smooth endoplasmic reticulum


  • Responsible for the production of lipids.

Smooth endoplasmic reticulum: It is an organelle shaped like flattened sacks and tubules stacked together which share the same internal space. The reticulum is organized into several domains including the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, which is more irregular in appearance than the rough one and has no associated ribosomes.



  • Contains digestive enzymes with which to perform cellular digestion.

Lysosomes: These are organelles formed by the Golgi Apparatus.

Golgi apparatus


  • Here, the substances produced in the endoplasmic reticulum are modified and vesicles are generated that will form part of other cellular organelles or be expelled.


  • Consists of sacks and vesicles from the endoplasmic reticulum.

Golgi apparatus: It is similar in form to the Golgi or apparatus of plant cells, formed by three parts: membranous sacks, tubules, through which substances are sent to the inside and outside of the cell, and, finally, vacuoles.



  • They have an elongated shape and have two membranes: an internal membrane that folds into ridges and a smooth external membrane.


  • They are large organelles that are responsible for obtaining the energy needed by the cell through cellular respiration. It uses oxygen to oxidize the organic matter that reaches it, and energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) are released.

Mitochondria: The number of mitochondria present in each cell depends on its activity (for example, in muscle cells there will be more).



  • They are cylindrical organelles, exclusive to animal cells.


  • Involved in cellular division, forming the spindle and cytoskeleton.


  • They are normally found in the centrosome, an area of the cytoplasm near the nucleus.

Centrioles: The centrosome is characteristic of the animal cell and is a cylindrical and hollow structure composed of two centrioles arranged perpendicular to each other.

plasma membrane


  • Controls the exchange of substances from the cell with the external environment, that is, the food that enters and the waste that is expelled.


  • All cell structures are surrounded by a plasma membrane, whose composition is similar to that of membranous organelles.

Plasma membrane: This membrane envelops the cytoplasm in which the organelles float in an aqueous medium with all the substances necessary for chemical reactions to take place so that the cell can live.