Q:

What is an animal cell shape?

A:

Quick Answer

Animal cells aren't all shaped the same way; the shape of a specific animal cell depends on its function and where it is in the body. Unlike plant cells, animal cells do not have rigid cell walls that limit them to a rectangular shape.

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Full Answer

Many animal cells appear roughly spherical when viewed through a microscope. Neurons tend to have long protrusions sticking out from a central cell body. Adipose cells, which store fat in the body, tend to be almost perfectly spherical when filled, and become flatter when empty. Muscle cells are elongated, and they can stretch and contract when the organism moves.

The epithelial cells that make up the outer layer of skin tend to be flat and devoid of many of the organelles present in other cells, while the underlying layers of skin have cells that line up in columns or rows. Red blood cells are rounded, with a visible concavity in the center. Immune cells change their shape to squeeze into tight spaces between other cells and to stretch around invading bacteria, viruses and particles, surrounding and neutralizing them. Egg cells are typically large and round, while sperm cells have a rounded head and a tail that facilitates movement.

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Related Questions

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    How do you make an animal cell project?

    A:

    One way to make an animal cell project is to use gelatin and various types of candy to represent the parts of the cell. Mix the gelatin and allow it to firm up slightly, then add the different candy representations of each cell part. For easier identification, make a reference sheet showing what part of the cell is represented by each piece of candy.

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  • Q:

    What is the function of the cell wall?

    A:

    The cell wall of plants maintains the shape of plant cells, supports and strengthens plants, resists water pressure, controls cell growth, regulates metabolic processes for the plant, acts as a physical barrier for the plant, stores carbohydrates and helps with cell to cell signaling. The cell wall is a tough, yet flexible layer that surrounds the cell membrane of plant cells.

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  • Q:

    How is the shape of a cell related to its function?

    A:

    The shape of a cell dictates the function of that cell. This is more pertinent to animal cells that, unlike plant cells, do not have a rigid cell wall. A misshapen cell cannot properly perform its intended function.

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  • Q:

    What is the function of a pollen cell?

    A:

    Pollen grains carry the sexual cells of plants from one flower to another. According to Pacific Union College, plants produce cells that give rise to pollen in each of four pollen sacs residing on each of the flower's anthers. Each pollen-producing cell divides, producing four discrete pollen grains. The sperm cells found in the pollen fertilize the ova found in female flowers, initiating development of the new plant.

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