Animal Cells

This lesson will introduce the learner to animal cell organelle structure and function.


Animal cells are eukaryotic cells because they have a nucleus


Eukaryotic cells are cells that contain a nucleus. 

  • Nucleolus-This structure produces ribosomes for the cell
  • Nuclear pores-These allow material to enter and leave the nucleus
  • Nuclear envelop-This is the outer covering of the nucleus

Quick Quiz

  • Animal cells are eukaryotic because the contain a nucleus

Other Organelles



Known as the "power house" of the cell.

Provides energy for the cell to perform its necessary functions



  • "Builds" the proteins for the cell
  • Can either be free floating in the cytoplasm or attached to the endoplasmic reticulum

Protein Synthesis Preview

Watch this video on how proteins are made. It serves as a nice introduction to RNA as well.

Cell (plasma) membrane

Cell Membrane

  • Outer layer of the animal cell
  • Regulates what enters and leaves the cell through a series of transport proteins
  • Comprised of a phospholipid bilayer with hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails

Endoplasmic Reticulum

Rough ER

Covered with ribosomes

Produces proteins and helps them fold properly

Smooth ER

Not covered with ribosomes

Involved in many roles including lipid synthesis

Do you know the answER?

does not have ribosomes attached to it while  does have ribosomes attached to it.

Golgi Body or Golgi Complex

Golgi Body or Golgi Complex

This organelle plays a role in intracellular transport. It can be thought of as the cell's post office. It receives material, packages it, and sends it to other parts of the cell for use.


As part of the cytoskeleton, microtubules help to provide support and structure for the cell



This membrane bound organelle contains enzymes that help to break down unwanted material in the cell



Centrioles produce microtubules. They also play a role in mitosis and meiosis as you will learn at a later time.

Cell organelle review

Match the organelle with the correct description/function as a review

  • Mitochondria
    "Powerhouse" of the cell
  • Golgi Body
    Can be thought of as the post office of the cell
  • Lysosome
    Rids the cell of unwanted waste
  • Ribosome
    Produces proteins
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
    There are 2 forms of this organelle. One is covered with ribosomes while the other is not
  • Cell Membrane
    Controls what enters and leaves the cell
  • Microtubule
    Supports the cell as part of its cytoskeleton
  • Centriole
    Plays a role in mitosis and meiosis