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Chitin is a basic dense shell worn by all Tyranid species, even the most basic of organisms such as the Ripper. These are tough, beetle-like carapaces which cover the creatures' vital spots. Chitin is tough enough to turn aside blades and even glancing small-arms fire.[1]

Larger and more powerful Tyranids are often bred with Reinforced Chitin, a series of carapace plates that exude a sticky resin-like substance which quickly harden and create additional self-healing layers of ablative armor that offers the Tyranid greater protection against incoming attacks.[1]