10 differences between unicellular and multicellular organisms

The table given below lists the characteristics of some unicellular and multicellular organisms with a few examples.

Unicellular organism

Multicellular organism

A single cell represents an organism. The entire organism is made up of a single cell.


  • A single cell represents an organism.

  • The cell or organism is independent and does not need help from other such cells for its growth and development.

  • There is no division of labour present in a unicellular organism.

  • They avail nutrients from the environment.

  • The cell can change its shape according to the environment.

  • They usually reproduce by binary fission.

More than one or many cells combine and coordinate to form a multicellular organism.


  • An organism is composed of numerous cells.

  • Cells in multicellular organisms depend upon other cells present in the organism for their growth and development.

  • There is division of labour in multicellular organisms. Specific cells carry out their specific functions.

  • They avail nutrients by the intake of food.

  • Cells in multicellular organisms exhibit definite shape. For example, neuron has a definite and distinct shape, which they do not change.

  • They reproduce through sexual and asexual modes.

Few examples of unicellular organisms are bacteria, virus, yeast, Amoeba, Paramecium, Chlamydomona etc.

Few examples of multicellular organisms are humans, plants, insects, snakes, birds, lizards etc.

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