What Color is an Animal Cell?

February 15, 2024

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. They have parts called organelles that help them function and stay organized. We’ll look at the structures of a plant cell and an animal cell, and see how they differ from each other.

Cell organelles are membrane-bound structures that perform essential cellular functions like energy production and cellular communication. They vary in shape, size and color. Cells also vary in what they contain and how they function. For example, blood cells carry oxygen, nerve cells convey electrical impulses and fat cells store energy in the form of lipids. The cells of plants, animals and prokaryotes have different shapes and structures, but they all contain the same thirteen organelles.

All cells are surrounded by a semipermeable membrane that lets some materials pass into and out of the cell, but not others. The membrane contains phospholipids and embedded proteins. Color the membrane tan. Within the cell is a nucleus that holds DNA and controls most of the cell’s activities. The nucleus also has a small body called the nucleolus, which makes ribosomes, which in turn create proteins. Label the nucleus light blue.

Ribosomes can be found all over the cytoplasm, but they are most concentrated on a bumpy structure called the rough endoplasmic reticulum. This part of the cell receives instructions from the nucleus to make proteins, which are the cell’s building blocks. The ribosomes are labeled red. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum looks similar, but it does not have ribosomes and transports substances throughout the cell instead of creating them. Label this part of the cell yellow.

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