This video was captured by Katy when she noticed our canebrake rattlesnake shedding (also known as moulting) early one morning. Snakes, along with some other reptiles and amphibians, moult periodically throughout their lives. For snakes, this means that the outer layer of skin is shed, typically in one whole piece. Shedding serves a few different purposes: 1) It allows growth for the snake, 2) The older and worn skin is replaced with new healthy skin, and 3) It helps the snake get rid of parasites such as mites.
You can learn more about the process of snakes shedding their skin at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophidian
Parts of this video are running faster than real time. Spectacular video editing by Larry. Extraordinary video capture by Katy. Visionary project oversight by Marilyn. Wonderful and completely irrelevant music by Erin Brown, animal keeper assistant.
3 responses to Time to crawl out of my skin
Great team effort! Loving the video and the music…
how long did it actually take the snake to shed its old skin? you compressed it to 3 minutes- what’s the true time.
According to Katy, who was the only person there at the time, the entire shedding process probably took about 20 minutes.