The process by which a reptile sheds its skin is called ecdysis. This process may last from 9-14 days depending on the reptile. Unlike lizards that generally shed in pieces, snakes will shed in one single piece if provided the proper conditions

Why do snakes shed their skin?

The simple answer is that snakes shed their skin because they are just like all other animals. All animals shed their skin — even you! In mammals, especially humans, this is an ongoing process that’s rarely noticed.

Snakes shed their skin to allow for further growth and to remove parasites that may have attached to their old skin. As a snake grows, its skin becomes stretched. Unlike human skin, a snake‘s skin doesn’t grow as the animal grows. Eventually, a snake‘s skin reaches a point where further growth is not possible.

When that occurs, a new layer of skin grows underneath the current one. As soon as it is complete, the old skin peels away, leaving behind a snake-shaped shell along with any parasites that may have been attached.

Reading through the comments on the video a lot of people have been giving false information regarding aiding a snake shed it’s skin… so I’m thankful to one reader named Stuart Mitchell who has helped clear it up.

”Does it hurt the snake if you peel their skin off? Short answer… No, it does not. It’s quite common to up the humidity and even moisten their skin to aid peeling and many owners will tell you that it helps the snake if you help them peel. From this video you can easily tell the peeled skin is soft and moistened as it doesn’t break or crack. The second clue is if it hurt the snake you would know about it real quick…

Does it harm their new skin? Again… No, it does not. A snakes viv should have the correct UV lighting, the UV acts the heal the new skin quite rapidly and it’s actually very soothing for the snake to have the old tight skin off.

So there… A little research doesn’t hurt.”

Thanks Stuart!

Now here are some more videos of snakes shedding their skin that might be of interest to you:

Watch an anaconda shed up close!

Carpet Python Perfect Shed!

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