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Similarities and differences between plants and animals

Are plants, animals, and other living things as different as we think? How much are they really alike? Plants, fungi and animals differ, but all three belong to the same domain, the eukaryotic, in contrast to bacteria and archaea. Already within plants and animals, there are organisms that have a higher body organization than the rest, they are higher organisms. So that you can learn more about these types of living beings, in this AgroCorrn article, we review the similarities and differences between plants and animals in a simple and summarized way. Take note!

Similarities between plants and animals

We begin by explaining what these living beings have in common. Thus, some of the main similarities between plants and animals are:

They are living beings

Both plants and animals are living beings that are born, grow, feed, follow reproductive cycles and finally die, that is, they follow the so-called life cycle.

Both have eukaryotic cells

Unlike prokaryotic cells in bacteria, plants and animals have eukaryotic cells, with a well-defined nucleus and cytoplasmic organelles specialized in specific functions. Some organelles differ between the two, such as the presence of chloroplasts in plant cells and mitochondria in animals.

Learn more about their cells in this other article in which we explain the Similarity and difference between animal and plant cells .

They need water, nutrients and sun

Both need to capture certain substances from the environment, with the only difference being the method they use. Thus, while animals ingest them with food, plants absorb them from the soil. This is the case of water and nutrients. Also, both organisms need sunlight to live.

Learn more about this in this other oneHOWTO article on What plants need to live .

They have biochemical pathways and biomolecules in common

In both plants and animals there are certain common cellular biochemical pathways. They also have certain common biomolecules that are part of your body and your cells.

Impulse movement capability

Plants are unable to move or move through their environment as animals do, but they do have limited capacity of movement to, for example, capture the highest light intensity in an area or the movement of the roots towards where the nutrients are found. For example, that plants grow or turn in the direction of the sun, is known as tropism and is one of their main abilities to move on impulse, as animals do with various things.

Differences between plants and animals

The differences between the two classes of organisms are diverse. These are the main differences between plants and animals that we can find:

Plants do not have devices that animals do

Plants do not have locomotor, digestive, excretory, respiratory or nervous systems. Since plants can directly manufacture their own organic substances, they do not need devices for digestion or excretion.

Plants do not have a respiratory system

Plants do not have a respiratory system like that of animals, but it is a structure called a stoma that is responsible for transporting air from the substomatic chamber into the body, where gas exchange takes place.

Plants do not move

Plants are autotrophic organisms, that is, they make their own food through the process of photosynthesis . The substances that the plant needs are sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, therefore all the substances it needs for its nutrition are in the air and in the soil and therefore it does not need to move completely freely. In addition, the locomotor apparatus of animals, which allows them to move, needs a nervous system and sense organs that plants do not have.

Plant cells have a cell wall

Another characteristic that differentiates plants from animals is in their cells. Plant cells have rigid cell walls that limit changes in shape and movement, whereas animals do not. Animal cells are capable of changing shape and moving a little in their internal environment.

Internal circulation of liquids

As in animals, in plants there is a liquid transport system. However, in animals this process is carried out by means of the blood that flows through a circulatory system, driven by the pumping force of the heart. In plants this process is carried out by sap and other liquids that circulate through a system of tubes, which is not called the circulatory system. Furthermore, plants do not have a pump comparable to the heart.

Plants grow almost unlimited

Unlike animals, plants have potentially unlimited growth. Plants grow during their life by the activity of meristematic tissues. Instead, animals grow to a size predetermined in their genetics.

Social organization in animals

Unlike plants, animals can develop systems of societies, in which their individuals play a certain role within society. An example of this is bee hives or ant societies.

Plants can reproduce asexually

Most plants can reproduce without fusion of sex cells or gametes, in addition to sexually, while in animals, asexual reproduction is very rare, it only occurs in very inferior animals such as starfish. Unlike sexual reproduction, asexual does not generate genetic variability, so the children are identical to the individual from whom they descend. Examples of this reproduction in plants is the generation of new plants by cuttings or by parts of another plant.

Summary of the similarities and differences between plants and animals

To finish, these are the similarities and differences between plants and animals in summary :


  • Both are made up of eukaryotic cells.
  • Both animals and plants are living beings.
  • Both types of living things need water, nutrients, and sunlight to survive.
  • They have biochemical pathways and certain biomolecules the same.
  • Both plants and animals have the capacity for impulse-guided movement.


  • Plants do not have or need digestive systems, or excretion, respiration, locomotives or others that animals do.
  • Plants do not move, animals do.
  • Plant cells have a cell wall.
  • The internal circulation of liquids is different.
  • Plants grow almost unlimitedly, but animals have a certain size.
  • There is social organization in animals and in plants there is not.
  • Plants can reproduce asexually, whereas animals mainly reproduce sexually and very few do so asexually, being inferior animals in evolution.

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