Why and how do they shed their skin?
Snakes’ skin is comprised of interlocking scales—an armor that protects them from hazards in their environment, such as sharp thorns and rough terrain. They are made out of keratin—the same material as our hair and fingernails.
Snakes shed their skin for a number of reasons: young snakes shed to grow; injured snakes shed to heal and adult snakes shed as they go through hormonal changes—like when they’re ready to mate, lay eggs or give birth.
The process of shedding can take several weeks to accomplish. When a snake prepares to shed, a layer of fluid develops between the old and new skin, keeping it pliable and stretchy. As long as the animal is in good health, there are no tears in its skin, and the temperature and humidity conditions are ideal, its skin should shed in one piece. Of course, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes, a snake’s skin may peel and flake off in pieces—just like when we have a sunburn.