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Introduction to Specialised Cells

In multicellular organisms, there are usually different types of cells that perform different functions. These are called specialised cells.

A specialised cell has a structure which is adapted for its function. In other words, it has structural features which enable it to carry out its function effectively.

Examples of specialised cells

Examples of specialised cells in animals include:

  • Sperm cells
  • Nerve cells
  • Muscle cells
Diagram showing a sperm cell, a nerve cell and muscle cell. The heading at the top says, "Specialised Animal Cells". The name of each type of cell is written under it.

Sperm cells, nerve cells and muscle cells are three different types of specialised cells found in animals.

Examples of specialised cells in plants include:

  • Root hair cells
  • Xylem cells
  • Phloem cells
Diagram showing a root hair cell, a xylem cell and some phloem cells. The heading at the top says, "Specialised Plant Cells". The name of each type of cell is written under it.

Root hair cells, xylem cells and phloem cells are three different types of specialised cells found in plants.

The functions of these cells, and the ways in which they are structurally adapted for those functions, will be covered over the next few pages.

Flashcards

Flashcards help you memorise information quickly. Copy each question onto its own flashcard and then write the answer on the other side. Testing yourself on these regularly will enable you to learn much more quickly than just reading and making notes.

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What is a specialised cell?

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What are examples of specialised cells in animals?

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What are examples of specialised cells in plants?

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