One advantage an exoskeleton provides is a strong outer layer that acts as armor against predators and environmental hazards. It also serves as a protective water barrier, and it imparts advantages related to structure and mobility.Know More
Like endoskeletons, exoskeletons provide structure and support to an animal's body. However, exoskeletons encase all of an animal's living tissues, protecting them from damage and attack. Muscles used for locomotion attach directly to the exoskeleton, giving the animal better leverage for rapid movement.
One of the most important functions of an exoskeleton is to prevent land-dwelling species from drying out. This is crucial because of the vital role played by water in physiological processes. On the other hand, an exoskeleton protects ocean-dwelling animals from being affected by small changes in the saltiness of water in their environment.
While some exoskeletons are dense, such as the hard shells of clams, the exoskeletons of insects are lightweight, making it possible for them to fly. Being nonliving, an exoskeleton does not grow with an animal. Therefore, it must be periodically shed in a process called molting. A new exoskeleton is then formed from epidermal secretions. This process consumes metabolic resources, and the animal is vulnerable until the new exoskeleton hardens.Learn more about Zoology
Sea stars, also known as starfish, protect themselves against predators by using their leather-like, prickly outer skin as armor, along with a host of additional defense mechanisms. The outer layer of skin is comprised of calcium carbonate plates to protect sea stars against the mouths of predators.Full Answer >
Animals that live in the emergent layer include harpy eagles, sparrowhawks, pygmy gliders, lesser dawn bats and vampire bats. Orangutans and gibbons also make their home in the rainforest's emergent layer.Full Answer >
The phylum Nematoda are commonly called roundworms and have unsegmented bodies and a layer of cuticle that is secreted by the hypodermis underneath the skin. Nematodes lack a coelum and instead have a small, fluid-filled cavity containing their reproductive organs and intestine.Full Answer >
Among the many predators of black-tailed prairie dogs are coyotes, bobcats, badgers, swift foxes, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, ferruginous hawks and rattlesnakes. Rare black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls and some species of snakes descend into black-tailed prairie dog holes to hunt them.Full Answer >