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Biology > Comparative Cell Sizes

The following list shows the comparative sizes of a range of molecules and cells.

0.1 nm (nanometre) diameter ofa hydrogen atom
0.8 nm Amino Acid
2 nm Diameter of a DNA Alpha helix
4 nm Globular Protein
6 nm microfilaments
10 nm thickness cell membranes
11 nm Ribosome
25 nm Microtubule
50 nm Nuclear pore
100 nm Large Virus
150-250 nm small bacteria such as Mycoplasma
200 nm Centriole
200 nm (200 to 500 nm) Lysosomes
200 nm (200 to 500 nm) Peroxisomes
800 nm giant virus Mimivirus
1 µm (micrometre) (1 - 10 µm) the general sizes for Prokaryotes
1 µm Diameter of human nerve cell process
2 µm E.coli - a bacterium
3 µm Mitochondrion
5 µm length of chloroplast
6 µm (3 - 10 micrometres) the Nucleus
9 µm Human red blood cell
(10 - 30 µm) Most Eukaryotic animal cells
(10 - 100 µm) Most Eukaryotic plant cells
90 µm small Amoeba
100 µm Human Egg
up to 160 µm Megakaryocyte
up to 500 µm giant bacterium Thiomargarita
up to 800 µm large Amoeba
1 mm (1 millimetre, 1/10th cm) Diameter of the squid giant nerve cell
up to 40mm Diameter of giant amoeba Gromia Sphaerica
120 mm Diameter of an ostrich egg (a dinosaur egg was much larger)
3 metres Length of a nerve cell of giraffe's neck