Question by  Rrr (18)

What is the composition of the exoskeleton of arthropods?


Answer by  Danisorano (57)

The exoskeleton of arthropods is secreted by the epidermis which is the outer layer of the skin. The exoskeleton is composed primarily of protein and a polysaccharide called chitin. The exoskeleton conserves the organism's water, protects it from predators and provides attachment sites for its muscles. The exoskeleton must be molted or shed periodically as the organism grows.


Answer by  Jenn09 (176)

Microscopically, the exoskeleton of arthropods is mostly composed of chitin, a strong polymer of N-acetylglucosamine. In many arthropods, the chitin is combined with various proteins (both silk-like and globular) into a hardened matrix. While the cuticle of the exoskeleton is fairly soft when first secreted, it becomes hardened during a complicated process of dehydration via hydrophobic compounds.

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