Answer to Question #153591 in Human Anatomy and Physiology for Himanshu

Question #153591

1. What is the difference between integumentary system and exoskeleton?

Hair, feather, scales, nails and horns are examples of exoskeleton or integumentary (because some website consider them as a part of integumentary system while some consider them as exoskeletal features


2. Human nails are exoskeletal features or not?

3. Human skeletal system is entirely an endoskeleton or italso has some exoskeletal features?

Expert's answer

The integumentary system is the organ system that covers the body externally. It serves to protect the body from physical, chemical, and biological damages. It consists of the skin and its specialized derivative structures like hair, hair follicles, nails, scales, horns, feathers, and glands.

An exoskeleton is an outer framework on the body that is rigid and resistant. It is a structural part made out of chitin and fulfills functional roles such as protection and support. A shell is an example of an exoskeleton.

Human nails are made of keratin, a protein substance from the skin’s epidermis. They are not exoskeletal features.

The human skeletal system is entirely an endoskeleton. It has developed interesting excrescences that provide insulation and protection but do not offer complete body protection. These excrescences are often mistaken for an exoskeleton, but they are not. An exoskeleton is a coating that covers the entire body.

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