Is there a word to describe or reference feathers, scales, fur, hair, exoskeleton (maybe?), etc. on a creature?

2 Answers 2


It is called an integument.

integument, in biology, network of features that forms the covering of an organism.

Among unicellular organisms, such as bacteria and protozoans, the integument corresponds to the cell membrane and any secreted coating that the organism produces. In most invertebrate animals a layer (or layers) of surface (epithelial) cells—often with additional secreted coatings—constitutes the integument. Among the vertebrates the boundary covering—with a variety of derived elements such as scales, feathers, and hair—has assumed the complexity of an organ system, the integumentary system.


(emphasis mine)

It can be called integumentary system or body covering also. Here is a detailed list of integuments from the University of British Columbia, Department of Zoology:


  • Also: encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3400500293.html
    – ermanen
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 23:41
  • Note: You said "animal" in the title but integument applies to any organism. You said "creature" in the question body though. [Maybe it would be better if you say "organism" in the title.]
    – ermanen
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 23:46

You can try "coat", but it would probably need "of armor" for the exoskeleton. (However, it is used to describe outer coverings of many kinds.)

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