There are only two basic types of cells, primitive prokaryotes and the more complex eukaryotes.Here are the main features that distinguish these cell types.
What Is a Cell?
Living things are constructed of cells and can be unicellular (one cell) or multicellular (many cells).
Limits on Cell Size
Cells size is limited because cells must be able to exchange materials with their surroundings. In other words, surfacearea relative to the volume decreases as size of cell increases, and this limits the size of cells.
Only a few hundred years ago it was believed that living things could spontaneously generate from non-living matter.We now know better. Cell theory lays out the basic rules that apply to the smallest unit of life. This cell doctrine statesthat:
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All organisms are composed of one or more cells.
Cells are the basic unit of structure and function in organisms.
All cells come only from other cells.
Two Basic Types of Cells
All cells fall into one of the two major classifications: prokaryotes or eukaryotes.
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Prokaryotes are evolutionarily ancient. They were here first and for billions of years were the only form of life. Andeven with the evolution of more complex eukaryotic cells, prokaryotes are supremely successful. All bacteria andbacteria-like Archaea are prokaryotic organisms.
Eukaryotic cells are more complex, evolving from a prokaryote-like predecessor. Most of the living things that we aretypically familiar with are composed of eukaryotic cells; animals, plants, fungi and protists. Eukaryotic organisms caneither be single-celled or multi-celled.