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Difference Between Exoskeleton and Endoskeleton

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Last updated date: 17th Jul 2024
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What is Exoskeleton and Endoskeleton?; An Introduction

The two types of skeleton are exoskeleton and endoskeleton. An exoskeleton, which means "from outside," is an exterior skeleton that supports and protects the body from the outside. An internal or inside skeleton is called an endoskeleton. Most organs are enclosed in the endoskeleton, which protects the body from harm. The endoskeleton is typically located within a person's skull, ribs, or spine as well as within muscles like those in our arms and legs. Now, let's explain exoskeleton and endoskeleton in more detail.

Explaining What is Exoskeleton?

Exoskeleton is an external skeleton. A person's body is protected from the outside world by their exoskeleton. It is made of chitin, a hard, protective material. Epidermal, integumentary, and lamellar exoskeletons are the three types of exoskeletons. The epidermis, dermis, hypodermis, and subcutaneous tissue are the four primary components of the exoskeleton. Exoskeletons are found in arthropods.


Explaining What is Endoskeleton?

Endoskeleton is an internal skeleton. It supports and protects the body from within. It consists of bones and cartilage. The three types of endoskeletons are axial, appendicular, and muscular. The axial endoskeleton includes the head, spinal column, and ribs. The appendicular endoskeleton includes joints, muscles, and limbs. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS) are the two main components of the endoskeleton. Endoskeletons are found in vertebrates.


Characteristics of Exoskeleton and Endoskeleton

The characteristics of the exoskeleton are:

  • Exoskeletons provide support and protection for an animal's body.

  • They serve as an effective defense against predators.

  • They provide structural support for the animal's body, allowing it to move more efficiently.

  • They help prevent water loss in terrestrial animals.

  • They can be used to create a hard shell for protection, as in the case of a crab.


The characteristics of endoskeleton are:


  • Endoskeletons provide support and protection for an animal's body.

  • They allow for efficient movement and locomotion.

  • They protect vital organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs.

  • They provide a framework for muscle attachment, which allows for movement and strength.

  •  They also serve as a site for blood cell production and mineral storage.

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Exoskeleton and Endoskeleton Difference 

S.No

Exoskeleton

Endoskeleton


Exoskeleton is an external skeleton.

Endoskeleton is an internal skeleton.


It protects and supports the body from the outside world.

It protects and supports the body from within.


It is made of chitin, a hard, protective material.

It is made of bone or cartilage.


It is found in arthropods like insects, crustaceans, and arachnids.

It is found in vertebrates like fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.


It consists of epidermis, dermis, hypodermis, and subcutaneous tissue. 

It consists of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS). 


It has more large bones. 

It has a few small bones.  


It is necessary for movement and locomotion in some organisms.

It allows for muscle attachment which is necessary for movement.


It is rigid, which means that it cannot grow with the animal.

It is flexible, which means that it can grow with the animal.


It helps prevent water loss in terrestrial animals.

It is involved in the production of blood cells.


It can be used to create a hard shell for protection as in the case of a crab.

It can be used to store minerals like calcium and phosphorus.


Summary

The basic difference between exoskeleton and endoskeleton is that the exoskeleton is an external skeleton whereas the endoskeleton is an internal skeleton.  Exoskeletons are external structures made of chitin that provide support and protection for an animal's body, while endoskeletons are internal structures made of bone and cartilage that provide support and protection for an animal's body. Exoskeletons are found in invertebrates, while endoskeletons are found in vertebrates.


Exoskeletons are also an effective defense against predators and can be used to create a hard shell for protection, as in the case of a crab. In contrast, endoskeletons protect vital organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs, and serve as a site for blood cell production and mineral storage. Additionally, endoskeletons are more flexible than exoskeletons, allowing for a greater range of movement and more efficient locomotion.

FAQs on Difference Between Exoskeleton and Endoskeleton

1. What is the Main Difference Between Exoskeleton and Endoskeleton?

The main difference between exoskeleton and endoskeleton is that exoskeletons are external structures made of chitin that provide support and protection for an animal's body, while endoskeletons are internal structures made of bone and cartilage that provide support and protection for an animal's body. Exoskeletons are found in invertebrates, while endoskeletons are found in vertebrates. Endoskeletons are more flexible than exoskeletons, allowing for a greater range of movement and more efficient locomotion.

2. What are the Characteristics of Exoskeletons and Endoskeletons?

Exoskeletons and endoskeletons can also have different characteristics in different animals. For example, exoskeletons in arthropods can provide a framework for muscle attachment and a surface for sensory receptors, while endoskeletons in mammals can provide support for the body and protect vital organs. Additionally, while exoskeletons are typically made of chitin or calcium carbonate, endoskeletons are made primarily of cartilage or bone. Finally, exoskeletons can provide a rigid framework that limits the movement of an animal's body, while endoskeletons can be more flexible and allow for a greater range of motion.


Both exoskeletons and endoskeletons provide support and protection for an animal's body, but exoskeletons are also an effective defense against predators and can prevent water loss in terrestrial animals, while endoskeletons protect vital organs and serve as a site for blood cell production and mineral storage.

3. What are Three Examples of Endoskeleton and Exoskeleton?

Endoskeletons are found in animals such as humans, fish, and birds. They are living structures that grow and change with the animal, providing support for the body and protecting vital organs.


Exoskeletons, on the other hand, are found in animals such as insects, crustaceans, and spiders. They are non-living structures that must be shed and replaced as the animal grows and provide support and protection for the body.