One of the two layers of the cutis. Viewed from the outside the dermis is the skin layer that is lying underneath the epidermis. The border between the dermis and epidermis is not very clear, they grow into each other and are not easily separated. When a skin starts to decay the epidermis is the first layer to come loose (this happens first around the eyes and on the belly) and then can be easily rubbed off from the dermis. This effect is desirable when making leather but less desirable when practising taxidermy, because the hairs come off along with the epidermis.

The dermis lies on top of the subcutis. The border between the dermis and subcutis is clearer; they are more easily separable.

The dermis consists of connective tissue, blood vessels, the lymphatic system and nerves. The dermis is the part of the skin that encloses our tactile receptors.

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