Endoskeleton

Endoskeleton

This skeleton is found inside the body and can consist of bone (all vertebrates except sharks) or cartilage (sharks) and some endoskeletons consist of both.

Advantages of the endoskeleton

  • Living: Endoskeletons consist of living tissue, so it is able to grow steadily within the animal enabling some to reach a large size.
  • Structure and support: The endoskeleton provides shape and structural support.
  • Structural diversity and adaptation: The bones can vary in size and shape to support the animal’s mass.
  • Flexible: The endoskeleton is jointed which allows for flexible movement and support.
  • Muscle attachment: The muscles attach directly to the skeletal bones to allow for movement and support.
  • Protection: The endoskeleton protects the vital organs such as the heart and lungs which are protected by the ribcage.
  • Diversified locomotion: The development of an endoskeleton has allowed for animals to become successfully adapted to locomotion in the environment in which they live. Vertebrates (organisms with a vertebral column and an endoskeleton) have become adapted to move in a number of different modes of locomotion, e.g. running, jumping, swimming, and flying.

Disadvantages of the endoskeleton

  • Vulnerable to external environment: The endoskeleton does not offer the animal any protection from the exterior, be it a physical attack or changes in environmental conditions. The animal is therefore very vulnerable.
  • Susceptible to disease: The skeleton consists of living tissue so is susceptible to infections and disease.

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