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  1. #1
    Cloacal Popping Engineer xdeus's Avatar
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    Physiology of Shedding

    Two of my girls just finished shedding this week, and it got me to thinking about the process. Scales are essentially reptile hair, if I'm not mistaken. Every scale is individual and attached to the snakes dermal layer, right? So how is it that the shed can come of in one piece instead of thousands of scale sized pieces? At what point does the skin on the scale fuse to the surrounding ones, or do they?

    This inquiring mind wants to know!

    -Lawrence

  2. #2
    Cloacal Popping Engineer xdeus's Avatar
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    Re: Physiology of Shedding

    Amazing what a little bit of research can do. If anyone is interested, here's a link to a pretty interesting article on Ecdysis.

    -Lawrence

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Re: Physiology of Shedding

    Here's my VERY basic understanding of the shedding process.

    From what I can gleem from my own research snake skin is made up of 2 layers. The outer layer, the actual scales are made up of keratin just like our own fingernails. The inner layer is where their nerve endings are and the pigment cells (just like baby rats have pigment in their skin that is the pattern of their incoming coats).

    Apparently this outer layer is incapable of growth/stretch like a human skins cells as we shed our cells constantly as we grow (but we don't shed cells from our fingernails). Snakes cannot shed the cells of this more armor-like keratin skin layer so when they grow...it has to go completely. I'm not sure what the liquid is made up of but they secrete a liquid that seperates the two layers of skin and grow the new scales under this layer of liquid and on top of the inner layer of pigmented skin. It's this liquid I think that makes their eyes appear blue during shed cycles. Then off comes the outer layer and bingo...pretty new just shed snake.

    I wonder though, if this liquid is present....is it then is reabsorbed as they approach the actual shed? Is this why we see that time where they appear to be out of shed aka "normal" then they do the physical shed? Couldn't find a thing on that unfortunately.

    Like I said this is just from my own research online so I can't confirm the validity of it completely. I've been meaning to ask my herp vet about the exact mechanics of shed but darn it all I always manage to forget to do so.


    ~~Jo~~
    ~~Joanna~~


  4. #4
    Registered User Boarder4l154's Avatar
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    Re: Physiology of Shedding

    wow, that article in that post explains the whole thing! very informative! Thanks xdeus
    -Brad

    0.1.1 BP {Rorschach & unnamed}

  5. #5
    Registered User Roundabout136's Avatar
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    Re: Physiology of Shedding

    I got fined from that site for saying a bad word, which most of us wouldn't classify as a bad word. It was for good reason, it was on a topic that i get pretty defensive over when the right time comes along, basically it was about hybrid snakes, messing up evolution, ect.

    Can anyone maybe copy paste this maybe?

    I haven't had the time to pay the 10 dollar fine i have to pay that site, heh. I loved that site, really informative.
    1.1 Ball Pythons, Cyrus, Gem

  6. #6
    Cloacal Popping Engineer xdeus's Avatar
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    Re: Physiology of Shedding

    I hope this is copacetic, if not I'm sure an admin will take it down.



    -Lawrence

  7. #7
    Registered User Roundabout136's Avatar
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    Re: Physiology of Shedding

    Thank you much.
    1.1 Ball Pythons, Cyrus, Gem

  8. #8
    BPnet Senior Member Lady mkrj58's Avatar
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    Re: Physiology of Shedding

    Thanks for this post.

    Sent from my SGH-T999
    Lady Mkrj58

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