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An exoskeleton is an external skeleton common in certain groups of invertebrates. This is in contrast with vertebrates, which are characterized by an internal skeleton. An exoskeloton provides firmness to the body and a certain amount of protection against predators. Examples of animals with exoskeletons are the arthropoda (among others lobsters, insects), molusca (among others snails, ammonites) and echinodermata (among others sea urchins).

The compostition of exoskeletons varies, as they can be composed of chitine, as with insects, but can also be composed of chalk as in gastropods or silica as in diatoms.

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