In zootomy, the integumentary system is the external covering of the body, comprising the skin, hair, scales, nails, sweat glands and their products (sweat and mucus). The integumentary system has a variety of functions; in animals, it may serve to waterproof, cushion and protect the deeper tissues, excrete wastes, regulate temperature and are the location of sensory receptors for pain, pressure and temperature. The name derives from the Latin integumentum, which means 'a covering'.
The integumentary system is often the largest organ system of an animal by surface area. It distinguishes, separates, protects and informs the animal with regard to its surroundings. Small-bodied invertebrates of aquatic or continually moist habitats respire using the outer layer (integument). This gas exchange system, where gases simply diffuse into and out of the interstitial fluid, is called integumentary exchange.
if we didnt have it we would bleed to death, and get infections.
The cutaneous membrane (skin) and its accessory structures (hair, scales, feathers, nails, exocrine glands) make up the integumentary system.
Ceruminous glands - glands of the ear canal that produce earwax
Mammary glands - milk-producing glands located in the breasts.
The epidermis is the thin outer layer of skin that contains melanin which gives skin its color and allows for the skin to tan. Carotene, and oxygen-rich hemoglobin also contributes to the color of skin. The epidermis also encompasses the protein keratin which stiffens epidermal tissue to form finger nails. The outermost layer consists of 25-30 layers of dead cells. Further levels include:
Scaly Cells form the surface of the skin
Melanocytes give the skin color
Langerhans cells are formed in the bone marrow and work to fight infection
It is divided into the following sub-layers:
Epidermis is divided into the following 5 sublayers or strata:
The subcutaneous tissue or subcutis is the layer of tissue directly underlying the cutis. It is mainly composed of adipose tissue. Its physiological function includes insulation and storage of nutrients.
The integumentary system has multiple roles in homeostasis. All body systems work in an interconnected manner to maintain the internal conditions essential to the function of the body. The skin has an important job of protecting the body and acts somewhat as the body’s first line of defense against infection, temperature change or other challenges to homeostasis. Functions include:
Protects the body’s internal living tissues and organs