Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

exoskeleton




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.


Related category

   • ZOOLOGY