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I found this snakeskin in my yard recently in Caboolture. It seems to be a keelback, but I didn't think they got this big. 97cm!
Snake skins stretch... a lot.
- 28-May-12, 02:08 AM #3
A shed skin will be much longer than the snake itself. Generally when you look at a snake you see that its scales overlap each other. When you look at a shed skin you see the scales are not overlapping and you actually see the skin in between.
Not sure on the "stretch" ratio but would imagine a shed skin would be around 20-30% longer than the actual snake.
Perhaps some keepers could give you some better figures.
If you deliberately stretch a slough before it dries (or after you wet it again) you can stretch it out to more than 50% longer than the length of the snake, and when it dries it will 'set'. Typically, snakes stretch their skins as they get out of them, because the skin sticks to things as it comes off and the snake pulls forward. If you want to you can pull the skin out perpendicular to lengthways and it can be about the same length as the snake itself, but it's quite difficult to get the slough to be as short as the snake.
Typically, without playing around with them, I find sloughs average something around 20% longer than the snake (Saratoga's 20-30% sounds about right to me), but it varies with species and circumstances.
I have seen Keelbacks over a metre in length (heavily fed old captives), but a 97cm slough probably came from about an 80cm Keelback. Still a fairly decent size.Automated signature.
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