Do Reptiles Shed Their Skin?
Reptiles are an ancient and fascinating species of animals that can shed their skin as part of the moulting process. Most reptiles shed their skin periodically, which is a process known as moulting or ecdysis. This process is natural and necessary for the reptile to have healthy skin, grow, and make repairs to the skin.
The Shedding Process
The shedding process begins with the appearance of a white membrane under the old skin. The reptile will rub his body against tree trunks, rocks, and vegetation as they start to shed off the old skin. Occasionally they will eat the skin they are shedding. This helps to get rid of any parasites that may have been stuck to the old skin. As the shedding continues, the snake will soak in water or a moist area to help with the shedding. After this process is complete, the reptile has a new set of scales, and its colours may appear more vibrant.
Benefits of Skin Shedding
The benefits of shedding skin are multiple;
- Growth: Shedding of the skin helps the animal to grow to its full-size. It also eliminates old, damaged pieces of skin and reveals a new one each time.
- New Skin: Reptiles shed their skin to get rid of parasites and other things that may have attached to the old skin.
- Self-Healing: Reptiles can use the shedding process to repair their own skin if it has been injured and heal themselves.
Although reptiles are well-known for skin shedding, other species of animals also go through a moulting process. These include spiders, some fish species, amphibians, crustaceans, and birds.
Skin shedding is an important component of the reptiles’ natural life cycle and it is essential that they are cared for to ensure they can go through this process without any issues. By providing the right environment, diet, and care, owners can help their reptile shed their skin safely and successfully.