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Cell History Discovery

Cells: A History of Discovery

Animalcules similiar to the ones first seen by Anton Van Leeuwenhoek.

What did AntonVan Leeuwenhoek see through his microscope? He was surprised to find what looked like tiny animals. He named these animals “animalcules”.


Plant cells.Yearslater, as microscopes improved, other biologists were able to continue the work of Hooke and Leeuwenhoek, learning more about cells. German biologist Matthias Schleiden discovered that every part of a plant he looked at was made of cells. Another German scientist by the name of Theodor Schwann discovered that every part of an animal he looked at through a microscope was made of cells.


Today scientists have developed what we call theĀ Cell Theory. This theory states the following:

  • All living things are made of cells.
  • Cells are the basic units of structure and function in living things.
  • Living cells come only from other living cells.