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An exoskeleton is an external, often hard, covering or integument that provides support and protection to the body of certain animals, notably arthropods and molluscs. In arthropods, it consists of a thick horny covering attached to the outside of the body and may be jointed and flexible. The exoskeleton does not grow as the animal grows; instead it is shed periodically and the animal generates a new one. See also endoskeleton.

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