Before proceeding to determine the meaning of the term animal cell, it is necessary to discover the etymological origin of the two words that give it its shape:
-Cell comes from Latin. It is exactly derived from “cellula”, which means “small cell”. It is formed from the sum of the noun “cella”, which can be translated as “cell”, and the diminutive suffix “-ula”.
-Animal, on the other hand, also derives from Latin. Specifically, it comes from “animal, animalis”.
The cells are the basic units capable of independent reproduction are living beings. These are microscopic elements that have a nucleus and a cytoplasm, which are enclosed in a membrane. An animal, on the other hand, is a living being that can move on its own impulse and that feels.
According to DigoPaul, animal cells, therefore, are those found in the tissues of these types of organisms. Plant cells, on the other hand, make up plant tissues.
By having a nucleus defined by the existence of a nuclear membrane, animal cells are part of the group of eukaryotic cells (also called eukaryotic cells). In the nuclear membrane, which is porous, is the genetic information. The prokaryotic cells, meanwhile, have no nuclear membrane and its genetic information is dispersed in the cytoplasm.
Ultimately, inside an animal cell, it is possible to recognize various structures. On the one hand, there is the cell membrane, which constitutes the envelope of the cell and defines it. Inside are the cell nucleus (with the nuclear membrane that encloses the nucleoplasm, where the nucleolus and chromatin are located) and the cytoplasm (where various organelles can be distinguished, such as ribosomes; centrioles; the rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum; the Golgi apparatus; lysosomes; and mitochondria).
The lack of rigid cell walls means that animal cells have the ability to acquire very diverse shapes. In certain cases, these cells can even engulf other structures.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore another important series of data on the animal cell, such as the following:
-It is considered that, on average, there are about 200 types of animal cells.
-Within animal cells we can establish that there is a classification that groups them into four: muscle cells, blood cells, nerve cells and epithelial cells.
-It should be noted that the aforementioned Golgi apparatus has some really important functions. And it is responsible for the modification of proteins, the production of plasma membrane, cell secretion and the formation of limosomes. No less relevant is that it is divided into three regions: the trans-Golgi region, the cis-Golgi region and the medial region.
-It is interesting to know that, as a general rule, animal cells differ from plant cells in that they have a smaller diameter. In addition, it must be clear that they have the objective of carrying out a really defined function.