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Medicine LibreTexts

5.01: Objectives

After completing this section, you should know:

  • the general structure of the skin
  • the function of the keratin deposited in the epidermis
  • the structure and function of keratin skin structures including calluses, scales, nails, claws, hoofs and horns
  • that antlers are not made either of keratin or in the epidermis
  • the structure of hairs
  • the structure of the different types of feathers and the function of preening
  • the general structure and function of sweat, scent, preen and mammary glands
  • the basic functions of the skin in sensing stimuli, temperature control and production of vitamin D
  • the mechanisms by which the skin regulates body temperature


  • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)