Purpose of Mitotic Cell Division

Most body cells in a human or animal divide, or reproduce, through mitosis. The stages of mitosis are prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase and telephase. During these stages, a cell duplicates its genetic content and then splits into two identical cells, allowing it to replace dead or dying cells.

  1. Examples

    • Most human cells reproduce through mitosis, such as the cells that make up your hair, fingernails and skin.

    Time Frame

    • Human somatic cells, or body cells, complete mitotic cell division in 30 to 90 minutes, according to Palomar College.


    • If mitotic cell division is not properly controlled by genes, illnesses such as cancer may develop, according to the National Institutes of Health.


    • Sex cells, including ova and sperm, reproduce through a different process, called meiosis. Meiosis occurs in the testes in males and in the ovaries in females. Meiosis allows for variation in genetic material, unlike mitosis.

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  • Photo Credit Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

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