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Etymology edit

From exo- +‎ skeleton.

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)

Noun edit

exoskeleton (plural exoskeletons or exoskeleta)

  1. (anatomy) A hard outer structure that provides both structure and protection to creatures such as insects and Crustacea.
    • 1903 January 17, A[rchibald] B[yron] Macallum, “The Palæochemistry of the Ocean in Relation to Animal and Vegetable Protoplasm”, in Transactions of the Canadian Institute, volume VII, Toronto, Ont.: [] for the Canadian Institute by Murray Printing Company, published 1904, section IV (The Composition of the Primeval Ocean), page 551:
      This is the case not only with all forms provided with exoskeleta and endoskeleta, into the composition of which lime largely enters, but also with those which exercise the precipitating effect on the calcium salts they absorb from sea water, the precipitation rarely going so far as to form a distinct deposit in the cells or tissues of the organism.
    • 1982, R. V. Lynch, Jr., R. Burrell, “Primate Dander Allergy of Lesser Bushbaby (Galago): A Case Report”, in D[uane] E. Haines, editor, The Lesser Bushbaby (Galago) as an Animal Model: Selected Topics, Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, Inc., →ISBN, page 304:
      Ordinarily, allergy to animals is due to either their fine dander which becomes aerosolized or to the exoskeleta, pupae, or feces of their ectoparasites.
    • 2009, Klement Tockner, Gene E[lden] Likens, editors, Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, Academic Press, →ISBN:
      After separation, the next generation of daughters resumes the photosynthetic fixation (reduction) of carbon, the sequestration of phosphorus, nitrogen, and mineral nutrients (up to a score), and the synthesis of the proteins that will contribute to the generational doubling of biomass. Structures such as flagella, scales, and exoskeleta also have to be reallocated or copied.
    • 2024 February 21, Philip Haigh, “Network News: New platforms and bridge to transform Darlington”, in RAIL, number 1003, page 12:
      Drawings supplied with NR's council application show a bridge with an exoskeleton that repeats some of the angles of Hitachi's '800' series trains which LNER and TransPennine Express run through the station.

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