Saturday, September 08, 2007

Reptillian Spring

Not your standard spring photos this time.

Spring is the time when reptiles of all manner come out of hibernation to have a feed, shed their skins, and find a mate.

Isis, the carpet python, is in the process of shedding her skin in these photos. First the snake will nuzzle to break the scales around the nose and mouth line then, through moving amongst obstructions, will slowly peel the old skin back and slide from it. The whole process can take about 1/2 an hour and produces bright new colouration, for about a week, as the new scales dry and harden.

Before shedding, the snake will go "off colour" as secretions between the new and old layers prepare for the easy removal of the old. This secretion also causes the snakes eyes to go misty - making the snake close to blind, though this will clear closer to the shed time.


  1. Nice shots, David.

    No doubt you were glad that you were around when Isis started to shed her skin. I shall come and check out her new skin, soon.

    Does this mean she might breed soon?


  2. Hi Denis,
    Thanks for the comment.
    I believe that most snakes shed prior to breeding, and a shed in spring after winter hibernation is a good sign a snake may breed. Isis has already darkened somewhat to her usual yellow, though was white initally after the shed.
    Look foreward to you coming to have a look.



  3. hi David,

    interesting. Although I have occasionally seen a shed snake skin when I've been out, I have never seen the process of shedding.

    I am hoping that I can observe my resident wild Bearded Dragon and Water Dragon shed, but of course, this is not a spectacular process like that of a snake shedding, but more of a 'flaking' of the skin.

    I'd be very interested in viewing a series of images of a snake consuming a meal - hint, hint :)


  4. Hi Gaye,

    Consider the meal shots done.
    I have been trying to load video to my page, as well, and have had trouble. Have some interesting short vids on that subject, as well as sheddings.




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