Endoskeleton & Exoskeleton Lesson for Kids

Endoskeleton & Exoskeleton Lesson for Kids
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  • 0:00 Endoskeleton Vs. Exoskeleton
  • 0:29 Bones Are Bones
  • 0:56 More About Exoskeletons
  • 1:55 More About Endoskeletons
  • 2:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sarah Meers

Sarah has taught elementary education for 10 years and has a master's degree in Education Leadership.

In this lesson, you will learn about exoskeletons and endoskeletons. You will explore the similarities and differences of each type of skeleton as well as types of animals that have these skeletons.

Endoskeleton vs. Exoskeleton

Have you ever wondered why some animals, like crabs or certain bugs, have a hard shell on the outside instead of soft skin like us? It's because they have exoskeletons. An exoskeleton is an external (outer) skeletal system. This means that their bones are basically outside of their body. We humans have endoskeletons, which means our bones are inside of our body.

Bones are Bones

Exoskeletons and endoskeletons have many things in common. They are both types of skeletal systems. But what is that? A skeletal system is anything made up of bones and other cartilage (a hard tissue) that protects the body and the internal organs. Both the endoskeleton and the exoskeleton have the important jobs of providing protection to the body and helping the body move. They also provide a framework for the body, helping give it shape.

More About Exoskeletons

Exoskeletons are made up of chitin and calcium carbonate. Chitin is a very strong but flexible material that provides protection while still allowing the animal or insect to move freely. Calcium carbonate provides hardness to the exoskeleton.

Most animals with exoskeletons are invertebrates, which means animals that do not have backbones. Insects make up the largest group of animals to have exoskeletons. However, many other animals have exoskeletons as well, including crabs, lobsters, shrimp, snails, and spiders.

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