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


"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 PressOctober 23, 2016
Steven Vogel