KNOW YOUR BODY! (Integumentary system)

The integumentary system, composed of the skin and associated structures, protects the body from invasion by harmful microorganisms and chemicals; it also prevents water loss from the body.

Integument, in biology, network of features that forms the covering of an organism. The integument delimits the body of the organism, separating it from the environment and protecting it from foreign matter. At the same time it gives communication with the outside, enabling an organism to live in a particular environment.

The integument is composed of layers that may be of single cell thickness, as in many invertebrates, or multiple cell thickness, as in some invertebrates and all vertebrates. In every case the cells that give rise to the integuments belong to that class of tissue called epithelium, which in most animals is called epidermis.

The integuments of unicellular organisms comprise the cell membrane and any coating it secretes. Almost all bacteria have an external cell wall that maintains the shape and turgidity of the cell and affords protection.

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