What is an exoskeleton?


What is an exoskeleton?


The exoskeleton is the external skeleton of an organism that supports and protects an animal's body, in contrast to the internal skeleton (endoskeleton).

Answer and Explanation: 1

An exoskeleton, a key feature of invertebrate arthropods and mollusks, is a rigid structure composed of chitin and calcium carbonate. Exoskeletons contain rigid and resistant components that fulfill a set of functional roles in many animals including protection, sensing, support, and dessication-prevention. But due to the rigid inorganic properties of the non-living exoskeleton, there are growth restraints that come as collateral issues. Although certain creatures, such as mollusks, are able to grow their shells by adding material to the edges, most exoskeletons are shed by molting and then regrown. Molting is an advantageous biological process for organisms with an exoskeleton as it helps in metamorphosis and damage repair, but the organisms expose their soft interior in the process and become vulnerable for the predators.

Examples of exoskeleton organisms

Learn more about this topic:

What is an Exoskeleton? - Definition, Advantages & Examples


Chapter 28 / Lesson 52

Explore what an exoskeleton is, and learn the exoskeleton definition. Discover its advantages and disadvantages. See what an exoskeleton is made of with examples.

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