Eukaryotes

Cells of animals, plants and fungi are called eukaryotic cells. They contain membrane bound organelles such as a nucleus and mitochondria.

Animal cells

Almost all animals and plants are made up of cells.

Animal cells have a basic structure. The structure of an animal cell is shown below:

The basic structure of an animal cell

Mitochondria are visible with the light microscope but can't be seen in detail. Ribosomes are only visible with the electron microscope.

Cell structures and their functions

Cell structureHow it is related to its function
CytoplasmA jelly-like material that contains dissolved nutrients, salts and structures called organelles. It is where many of the chemical reactions happen.
NucleusContains genetic material which the instructions that cells use to make proteins. Controls the cell's activities.
Cell membraneIts structure is permeable to some substances but not to others. It therefore controls the movement of substances in and out of the cell.
MitochondriaOrganelles that contain the enzymes required for aerobic respiration and where most energy is released in respiration.

Most cells are specialised and are adapted for their function. Animals and plants therefore consist of many different types of cells working together.