Dictionary > Integumentary system

Integumentary system

Definition
noun
The organ system consisting of the skin and associated structures such as the glands, hair, nails, scales, etc. Its functions include protection against thermal, chemical, abrasive injuries and pathogens, sensation, secretion, vitamin D synthesis, insulation and thermoregulation
Supplement
An organ system, (sometimes simply system), is a group of organs that work together to carry out a particular task. In humans and other animals, the organ systems are integumentary system, lymphatic system, muscular system, nervous system, reproductive system, urinary system, respiratory system, skeletal system, and immune system.
The integumentary system is an organ system comprised of the skin and other associated structures and appendages, e.g. glands, hair, nails, scales, hooves, feathers, etc. The major functions of the integumentary system related to the skin include protection (such as from infectious organisms, temperature changes, sunburn, dehydration, etc.), homeostasis, thermoregulation, perspiration (for excreting waste materials), sensation for touch, pressure, pain, heat, and cold, vitamin D synthesis when exposed to UV light, storage of water, fat, glucose, and vitamin D, tissue repair from minor injuries, and so on. In certain animals, the integumentary system also helps them to blend to their surroundings. Chameleons, for instance, are capable of camouflage. Their skin is capable of changing color to match their surroundings. This gives animals the advantage of preventing detection of predators and prey during food hunting.
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