Cutaneous

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Cutaneous'

Cutaneous Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    cutaneous adj : relating to or existing on or affecting the skin; "cutaneous nerves"; "a cutaneous infection" [syn: cutaneal]
Cutaneous Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Cutaneous \Cu*ta"ne*ous\ (k[-u]*t[=a]"n[-e]*[u^]s), a. [Cf. F. cutan['e], fr. L. cutis skin. See Cuticle.] Of pertaining to the skin; existing on, or affecting, the skin; as, a cutaneous disease; cutaneous absorption; cutaneous respiration.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Cutaneous'


Skin is a soft outer covering of an animal, in particular a vertebrate. Other animal coverings such as the arthropod exoskeleton or the seashell have different developmental origin, structure and chemical composition. The adjective cutaneous literally means "of the skin" (from Latin cutis, skin). In mammals, the skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of ectodermal tissue, and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, and the protection of vitamin D folates. Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue. This is often discoloured and depigmented.

Hair with sufficient density is called fur. The fur mainly serves to augment the insulation the skin provides, but can also serve as a secondary sexual characteristic or as camouflage. On some animals, the skin is very hard and thick, and can be processed to create leather. Reptiles and fish have hard protective scales on their skin for protection, and birds have hard feathers, all made of tough β-keratins. Amphibian skin is not a strong barrier to passage of chemicals and is often subject to osmosis. A frog sitting in an anesthetic solution could quickly go to sleep.

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