Bacterial Cell vs Animal Cell: Difference and Comparison

The cell is the smallest structural and functional unit, the basic building block of all living organisms. The cell contains three main parts: the cell membrane, the nucleus, and the cytoplasm.


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These three components of the cell vary in different species, and thus the cells differ in characteristics. Bacterial cells and animal cells are two types of living cells that belong to different kingdoms. Both these cells differ from each other in many ways.

Key Takeaways

  1. Bacterial cells are smaller and simpler in structure than animal cells, with no nucleus or membrane-bound organelles.
  2. Animal cells are larger and more complex, containing a nucleus and various organelles that perform specific functions.
  3. Bacterial cells reproduce asexually by binary fission, while animal cells reproduce sexually or asexually through mitosis.

Bacterial Cell vs Animal Cell

The difference between the bacterial cell and the animal cell is that the Bacterial cell lacks a well-defined membrane nucleus and organelles which are present in the animal cell along with the cytoplasm. Bacteria are unicellular organisms which means it contains only one cell for carrying out all kinds of life processes, whereas animals are multicellular organisms and thus contain more than one cell. 

Bacterial Cell vs Animal Cell

Bacterial cells are prokaryotic type cells that lack nucleus and organelles like mitochondria, lysosomes, and other cellular components, but there is an irregular-shaped region inside the cell that contains circular DNA known as plasmids, this region is known as the nucleoid.

It has a well-defined cell wall that provides rigidity, support, and strength to the bacterial cell.

An animal cell is a eukaryotic type cell with a complex structure containing all the required organelles in the cytoplasm and a well-defined nucleus with a membrane around it that performs all the life processes.

An animal cell is larger and has a linear type of DNA inside the nucleus which contains all the genetic information. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBacterial CellAnimal Cell
MembraneThe nucleus does not contain well- defined membrane.The nucleus contain well- defined membrane.
ChromosomeIt contains a single chromosome.It contains several chromosomes.
Reproduction waysReproduction takes place asexually by the process of binary fission and sexually by conjugation.Reproduction takes place asexually by mitosis and sexually by meiosis.
OrganellesNo cell organelles are present.Cell organelles which are cell bound are present in the cytoplasm.
Cell shapeWell-defined cell shape.Irregular shape.

What is Bacterial Cell?

Bacteria are unicellular organisms that contain only one cell. Based on the various types of shapes, Bacteria are divided into five different groups which namely are spherical (cocci), rod (bacilli), spiral (spirilla), comma (vibrios), or corkscrew (spirochaetes).

The bacterial cell falls into the category of the prokaryotic cell, which has the most simple structure for performing basic life processes or functions as it does not contain a well-defined or distinctive nucleus or any membrane-bound organelles in it.

Besides the complex structure, it has its own control centre, which contains the important genetic information inside the DNA, which has only a single loop.

Some of the bacterial cells contain an extra circular DNA in the cytosol known as a plasmid. Besides this, the cell contains only one chromosome.

The cell is very small in size as compared to the other cells, which are approximately around 0.2 to 10 microns in size. The bacterial cells are generally found as autotrophs, but some may be heterotrophs also.

The bacterial cell has a well-defined cell wall which is why the cell has a definite shape. Some of the bacteria are found to have fimbria on their surface.

These cells lack cytoskeleton and histone protein. Reproduction takes place both sexually and asexually as well. 

bacterial cell

What is Animal Cell?

An animal is a multicellular organism that is made up of more than one cell. The animal cell falls into the category of the eukaryotic cell, which has a complex structure for performing basic life processes or functions as it contains all the components, which are a well-defined or distinctive nucleus along with membrane-bound organelles in the cytoplasm which help in performing all the necessary cellular functions.

The cell contains several chromosomes. The cell is larger, which is approximately about 1000 microns or even more in size. Animal cells are always found of the type heterotrophs.

The animal cell does not have a well-defined cell wall which is the major reason behind its irregular shape characteristic.

Due to the lack of a rigid cell wall around the cell, it can develop a diverse range of cell types, tissues, or organs, giving the great advantage of mobility to the animals. The animal cell does not have fimbria on its surface.

This cell contains a cytoskeleton, a network of tubules and filaments inside the cytoplasm, and also has DNA wrapped around the histone protein. Reproduction takes place both sexually as well as asexually. 

animal cell

Main Differences Between Bacterial Cell and Animal Cell

  1. The nucleus of the bacterial cell is not well-defined, and it does not contain a membrane around it, whereas the animal cell contains a well-defined, membrane-bound nucleus.
  2. The bacterial cell contains only one chromosome in it, whereas the animal cell contains a large number of chromosomes inside it.
  3. In both the bacterial cell and animal cell, reproduction takes place by both sexual as well as asexual means. In bacterial cells, asexual reproduction takes place by binary fission and sexual reproduction by conjugation, whereas in animal cells, sexual reproduction takes place by meiosis and asexually by mitosis.
  4. The bacterial cell does not have membrane-bound cell organelles like mitochondria, lysosomes, and other cellular structures, whereas the animal cell contains all membrane-bound organelles in the cytoplasm.
  5. The bacterial cell has a well-defined cell wall; thus, it has a well-defined cell shape, whereas the animal cell does not have a well-defined cell wall; therefore, the cell has no definite shape.
Difference Between Bacterial Cell and Animal Cell

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