Skip to main content


Anatomy of a Cell - Part 2

Click here for Part 1

Animal cells will typically also include structures such as mitochondria, ribosomes, the rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, the Golgi apparatus, vacuoles, and centrioles. If you click on the cell to the right, you can try to find these structures. Each of them has a function that is necessary for cell survival.

Mitochondria change the chemical energy stored in food into compounds that are more convenient for the cell to use. Ribosomes are the structures that make proteins. They can be located on the rough endoplasmic reticulum, which chemically modifies the newly made proteins and then releases or exports them from the cell. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum stores special enzymes and chemicals and helps transport them within the cell. Lysosomes are small structures that contain chemicals and enzymes necessary for digesting certain materials in the cell. The Golgi apparatus, which makes lysosomes, is also responsible for preparing other substances for transport throughout the cell. Vacuoles are saclike structures that contain substances such as water, salts, proteins, and carbohydrates. And finally centrioles are structures that contain tubulin, a microtubule protein.