why do reptiles periodically shed their scales

It's a beautiful spring day and you and your best friend decide to celebrate by taking an adventurous in the woods. As the sunshine streams through the treetops, you walk along the trails, enjoying the smells of the plants and the sounds of the birds in the air. As you approach a log blocking the trail, you notice something strange at the base of it. It looks almost like a
Бbut not quite. What could it be? As you inch closer, you realize that it's a long piece of! After you the area to make sure there are no real snakes nearby, you pick up the and examine it more closely.


You can see the impressions of the scales and the designs they make. You start to WONDERБwhy do snakes their? The simple answer is that snakes their because they are just like all other animals. All animals their Б even you! In mammals, especially humans, this is an process that's rarely noticed. shedding in reptiles is different. Instead of an process, reptiles periodically.


Snakes are even more unique, because their usually comes off in one piece. If you've ever seen a, you know it looks like the just right out of its, almost like taking off a sock! Scientists call this process, although you may also sometimes hear the terms and. Snakes their to allow for further and to remove that may have attached to their old. As a grows, its becomes stretched. Unlike human, a 's doesn't grow as the animal grows. Eventually, a 's reaches a point where further is not possible.


When that occurs, a new layer of grows underneath the current one. As soon as it is complete, the old peels away, leaving behind a -shaped shell along with any parasites that may have been attached. To leave their old behind, snakes may go for a swim to allow water to loosen the old even further. When they're ready to the old layer, they create a in the old, usually in the mouth or nose area. They often do this by rubbing against a rough, hard object, such as a or a log.


Once the old layer has been, the inches its way through the old layer until it's completely removed. If you find a in the wild, you'll notice that it's usually inside out and in one piece. Snakes their quite often. The average will its two to four times per year. This average varies with age and species, however. Young snakes that are actively growing may their every two weeks. Older snakes might only their twice each year. Much more common than skin-shedding is scute-shedding, a process in which the turtle's shell scutes peel and flake off to be replaced by new ones.


This is partially a response to normal growth, as the shell has to expand along with the rest of the body. Even grown turtles shed their scutes, though, particularly ones that spend a significant amount of time in the water. Shedding the scutes piece by piece rids the turtle of shell rot and parasitic infections that can occur as a result of being too much in water.