• Question: whats the species with the most cells?

    Asked by Benmacanbeatha to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 14 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 14 Nov 2014:

      I’d say the species with the most cells is the organism that’s the biggest. The biggest living organism on earth are coral reefs and the biggest of these is the Great Barrier Reef off Australia which stretches over 2,000 kilometres. So thats what I’d day is the species with the most cells. To be clear corals are actually animals and not plants, they secrete the skeleton that forms the reef around themselves.

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi Benmacanbeatha,

      Pando(tree) is the heaviest living entity. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000,000 kg (6,600 short tons), making it the heaviest known organism. So I believe it will have the highest number of cells.

      You can calculate the cells in any species mathematically. Let’s assume that an average eukaryotic cell is about 10 micro meters across. Further, we assume that a human cell is a cube. You can calculate the volume, and then assume that the density of the cell is about like the density of water. This way you can compute the mass of a cell. You then simply weigh the organism, and multiply this mass by the number of cells in one kg, and voila: you have the number of cells in the body.
      Which means you can calculate number of cells depending on the mass.