AAT Bioquest

Do animal cells have a cell wall?

Posted June 10, 2022


No, animal cells do not have a cell wall. They don’t need them. 

Cell walls are rigid structures found in plant cells. They provide plant cells with much-needed structure, shape, support and protection. While the rigidity of the cell wall is beneficial for plant cells, it can be a disadvantage in animal cells. For animals, movement is crucial to their survival, whether it is to search for food, look for a mate, or escape from predators. For this reason they need much more flexibility than plants do. The presence of a cell wall would make it difficult or even impossible for animals to move. Animal cells are enclosed in a more flexible cell membrane, which provides the optimum combination of strength, support, and flexibility.   

Additional resources

Role of membrane addition in animal cell cytokinesis

Cell Structures and Organelles