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Effect of cortex stiffness variation on cleavage in animal cells

Cytokinesis is the division of the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane into two. Nuclear division and cytokinesis take a relatively short time to happen in animal cells in which cytokinesis takes place by means of furrowing. Here we consider the cleavage of the animal cells only. Although the basic division mechanisms appear to be similar in all animal cells, the divisions that take place during early embryonic development, which are termed as cleavages, are not exactly the same as those that occur later. In early embryos cell divisions merely partition the existing cytoplasm without any apparent change in the total volume. During the cleavage period there is no growth. Animal cells attain a roughly spherical configuration before division. In these cells, cell division is concluded by the formation of a cleavage furrow in the equatorial plane that constricts the entire cell and finally squeezes it into two parts.