The first evidence of exoskeletons appears in the fossil record about 550 million years ago. Cloudina, they produced tiny, millimetre-scale fossils and looked like a series of cones piled atop one another.
Exoskeletons fulfill a set of functional roles like protection, support and acting as a barrier against desiccation. The makeup of exoskeletons varies from taxon to taxon: bone or cartilage for the Ostracoderms like fish and turtles, calcium carbonate for the molluscs and chitin for the arthropods.
Some organisms, like the tiny foraminifera, agglutinate (great word, huh) exoskeletons by sticking bits of their environment to themselves. Some humans share this characteristic, constructing their exoskeletons from obscure ingredients such as aluminium chlorohydrate and hydroxyethyl-cellulose.
I’ve decided that the human exoskeleton is a result of primal urges, a grasping for defense and protection from the outside world. Indeed, some humans seem to construct their exoskeleton with the desperate intensity of a snail with no shell, creating carapacial monstrosities and great, slab-like edifices that would shame even the most flamboyant of Phyllopoda.
Perhaps, like the lobster, Balmain Bug and a-ping spider of Cambodia, the human exoskeleton serves to keep predators from devouring the tasty meats within. Unfortunately, while these senseless and outdated cannibalism laws remain in effect, we shall never know.
Doesn’t this guy look delicious? For more reading on how to murder people with too much makeup on, efficiently butcher the remains and cook delicious meals the whole family can enjoy, see The Church of Euthanasia’s Butchering The Human Carcass for Human Consumption.
See ya next time, kids.