Why do snakes shed their skin?

Asked on by dano7744

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Snakes shedding their skin is an example of molting, where an animal routinely discards a certain body part. This can be done for maturation, or as a reaction to environmental changes. For snakes, the usual reason is that the snake has grown larger, and the old skin has not grown along with it. Snakes grow new skin under the old skin in an identical pattern, and when prompted by hormonal signals, brush against something coarse to start tearing and pulling the old skin off. Snakes molt their skin up to eight times per year, usually in response to growth, but sometimes in response to injury. Interestingly, snakes also molt the brille, or transparent protective covering over their eyes along with their skins, and so while the molt is in progress a new brille grows underneath the old, with the space between filling with a cloudy fluid to prevent their sticking together.

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myfavouritehero | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

 The main reason for snakes to shed their skin is that their older skin doesn't grow while the snake grows, but instead a new skin starts forming below the old one & thus they have to shade their skin.

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kellyrules | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Snakes skin will only stretch a small amount so, periodically, a snake sheds its old skin, having formed a new skin underneath. Young snakes shed much more frequently than older snakes as they grow faster when they're young.

my answer
The primary reason for this (snakes shedding there skin) is that the snakes grows, as the snake grows the outer skin douse not grow so the snake sheds its skin.

the snake first rubs its nose against a hard surface the snake hooks its old skin on a twig then slides out of its old skin leaving it in one piece.


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