Bennett, Albert F. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, California.
- Structure of mammalian skin
- Thermoregulation in mammals
- Evolution of vertebrate skin and scales
- Water loss from amphibian skins
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The entire outer surface of the body of an animal or human, and the principal boundary between the external environment and the body's internal environment of cells and fluids. Skin serves as the primary barrier against the intrusion of foreign elements and organisms into the body of an animal or human. It also serves as a large and complex sense organ through which animals and humans explore and learn about the external world. In addition, skin functions to maintain the homeostasis of the body's constituents, acting as a barrier to the loss of various ions and nutrients by diffusion. For terrestrial animals, it also serves as an effective barrier to water loss, without which most land animals would rapidly become desiccated and die. See also: Cutaneous sensation
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