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Why is diffusion and osmosis important to the cells in your body? Transport materials (nutrients, oxygen and wastes) into and out of the cells. If cell doesn’t get nutrients and oxygen, or get rid of wastes in a timely manner, it will die. Shape of the cell reflects its function Examples: Red Blood cell Nerve cell Skin cell Brainstorm: Why can't cells continue to grow larger and larger to become giant cells, like a blob? Why are most cells, whether from an elephant or an earthworm, microscopic in size? Individual cells are small—animal cell about 0.01 to 0.05mm in diameter. If cell is too big, materials (nutrients, waste, water) flowing into and out of the cell takes too long. vs. How does this prevent an amoeba from reaching the size of a pro wrestler and engulfing your legs when wadding into a murky lake? An amoeba the size of a human could never move materials across its membrane fast enough to satisfy such a large blob of cytoplasm. Surface-to-volume ratio limits cell size. Animal Cells – Limited cell growth If cells get too big - cannot get rid of wastes or get what it needs to function at the rate needed. Cell has 2 options: Die Divide Plant Cells - Have larger sizes due to large central vacuole which is responsible for their growth. Which one has more cells - mommy or foal? Mommy horse. Why? Older horse has millions more cells compared to the foal because it has more mass.