The cuticle of arthropods provides rigid protection via its composite structure.

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“What we’re calling rigid materials includes a lot of familiar biological items. There’s arthropod cuticle, a composite of chitin fibers in some proteinaceous material, with the addition of calcium carbonate salt in the larger crustaceans. In many instances, the fibers are arranged in sheets, each with a specific orientation, rather like plywood.” (Vogel 2003:305)

Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World, Second EditionPrinceton University PressJune 17, 2013
Steven Vogel

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