Animal cells do not have a cell wall because a cell wall is a supportive layer that provides mechanical support to plants and other unicellular organisms.
However, there are skeletons and muscles for animals that provide similar functionality to cell walls.
This article will cover some of the major reasons why animal cells don’t have cell walls.
Why do plants cell have cell wall but not animal cells?
Cell walls are rigid layers that help maintain the cell shape and provide cell rigidity. Because of this, plants can stand tall and move upward in a fixed form.
Plants cannot move from one place to another like animals, so they need to maintain a rigid shape to grow taller than their surroundings to access direct sunlight. For this very reason, cell walls are a must for plant cells.
They can now access sunlight and other minerals to help them survive being stationary in the same place.
However, animals have strong muscles and bones that provide a fixed shape and structure. So, there is no need for an additional rigid layer (cell wall) for animal cells.
Why don’t animals have cell walls?
Practically, the presence of cell walls will be a weakness in animal cells. Let’s explore some of the reasons why animal cells don’t require cell walls:
1. Cell walls limit the muscle movements of animals
Animals need to move from one place to another for survival; however, due to their rigid nature, cell walls will slow down the movement of animals.
Also, animal cells need to be flexible because the body parts of animals constantly change; for example, the shape of legs, shoulders change while walking. And, the rigidity of the cell wall cannot provide that functionality in animal cells.
2. Animal cells need to have a faster regeneration
Animal cells are softer than plant cells so, they tend to go through lots of wear and tear. This is why animal cells require more energy to regenerate new cells constantly.
And, the formation of cell walls requires a large amount of energy which is just a waste because cell walls don’t provide any benefits to animal cells.
3. Animal cells have plasma membranes instead of cell walls
Instead of cell walls, animal cells have plasma membranes. Plasma membranes can maintain various shapes that are favorable for the movement of animals.