noun[mass noun] Biochemistry
A fibrous substance consisting of polysaccharides, which is the major constituent in the exoskeleton of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi.
- Finally, like other fungi, chytrids have chitin strengthening their cell walls, and one subgroup have cellulose as well, a trait unique among living fungi.
- Arthropods have a stiff cuticle made largely of chitin and proteins, forming an exoskeleton that may or may not be further stiffened with calcium carbonate.
- There are a few other animal carbohydrates, notably chitin, the substance which constitutes the hard outer casing of insects and crustaceans.
- Example sentences
- But this time… ‘Dancer held up her elongated forearms, staring at her pale, chitinous claws.’
- In addition, examination of the chitinous cuticle that covers the surface of the infundibulum reveals a remarkable array of tiny pegs or ‘denticles’.
- They are the earliest well-known complex three-dimensional trace fossils; mostly small, chitinous, calcareous, and phosphatic elements of problematic affinity.
Mid 19th century: from French chitine, formed irregularly from Greek khitōn (see chiton).
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