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Why do some reptiles shed their skin?

By Emily Taylor, Year 8

All reptiles shed their skin in some way, shape or form. They actually shed their skin as they grow. All reptiles have this in common. In fact, all animals renew the hair and skin! However, with reptiles, they shed their skin at they grow - their skin tightens, dries up then peels off!

Image: Creative Commons Licence, The Eloquent Peasant, Wikimedia.

Most lizards can either shed their skin in patches, and but some other species like alligator lizards shed their skin all in one like snakes.

Image: Creative Commons Licence: born1945 @ Wikimedia

The younger the lizard the more often they shed their skin, and the older they get the less they shed. However, they still shed their skin multiple times a year.

There are some tell-tale signs that a lizard will start to shed their skin. They appear dull, and their eyes will turn a cloudy bluish color. They may hide more often, and eat less. They also prefer not to be held in during the time they are shedding, which is understandable!

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