exoskeleton(redirected from Cuticula (invertebrate))
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an external hard framework to the bodies of certain animals, derived from the ectoderm, such as a crustacean's shell; it supports and protects the soft tissues. In vertebrates the term is sometimes applied to structures produced by the epidermis, such as hair, nails, hoofs, and teeth.
1. Hard parts (for example, hair, teeth, nails, feathers, hooves, scales) developed from the epidermis in vertebrates. Synonym(s): dermoskeleton
2. Outer chitinous envelope of an insect, or the chitinous or calcareous covering of certain crustaceans and other invertebrates.
1. All hard parts (e.g., hair, teeth, nails, feathers, dermal plates, and scales), developed from the ectoderm or somatic mesoderm in vertebrates.
2. Outer chitinous envelope of insects, some crustaceous, and other invertebrates.