Ecdysis: It’s Time to Grow!

Reptiles are characterized by having scales covering their bodies. That means when a reptile needs to grow bigger, it must shed the scales.  The process of shedding the old skin is called ecdysis.

One of my lizard family members has the best ecdysis. This is my red tegu, Rascal. First, the red skin takes on a dry, yellowish look.

photo of red tegu back

With time, the outer skin looks whiter.

red tegu skin shedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo of shedding skin ridges red tegu

Ridges and dents start to form, as the skin become looser.

Red tegu shedding skin starts to sag

The outer skin layer loosens and separates from the new skin underneath.

photo of tegu skin coming off

The skin is ready for a snag to tear it open and help it fall off the tegu’s body. When Rascal’s skin tears, most of it comes off since it was so loose.

photo of new shiny tegu skin

Once the old skin has been rubbed off, the lovely deep red coloration of the red tegu is seen on the new scales.

 

 

 

Book Note: I write fun science books about reptiles. Interested in sharing some fun science with your kids this summer? To see my adventure tales that weave science into the stories, and my rhyming tales, which help the reader to remember the science, click on My Books.

A collage of book covers indicating the categories of books at elaineapowers.com
My Books By Category

For jam-packed, educational, economical and fun activity sheets and workbooks, go to Lyric Power Publishing, LLC, Workbooks page.

Collage of Science Education Workbooks
Click on Workbooks to see all 23 workbooks, making science education fun!

 

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