Thursday, February 17, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different...

Repeat Sheds Her Skin!
I have to admit -- I'm not crazy about rodents and reptiles.  Although I have had some pretty good relationships with a number of hamsters, rats, and long ago, a rabbit.  But except for catching lizards in the backyard as a child, I've never enjoyed any reptiles.  Oh, I can appreciate the beauty of a colorful iguana and the perky postures of bearded dragons, but I am just not crazy about cold-blooded critters.  This includes insects.  And I hate snakes!  Maybe even more than Indiana Jones does.

  My "adult" son moved back home for a couple of weeks at the beginning of this year and brought with him this leopard gecko named "Repeat".  When my son moved back out, the gecko stayed.  I have been awarded the dubious honor of gecko-mom.  Which means I get to go to the pet store every couple of days and purchase live crickets.  Because this creature eats only live ones.  So now I get to nurture crickets in order to provide snacks for the gecko. Or go to the pet store every other day to get more.  Not fun in a blizzard -- I found out.

So today, when I was trying to concentrate on something important, my almost-eleven-year-old daughter came running upstairs to breathlessly inform me, "The gecko's shedding her skin!"  Being the good gecko-mom that I am, I grabbed the camera to record this event.  And now I'm sharing it with you.

I missed the part where it started -- obviously on her head.  But I did manage to get these interesting shots of her pulling the old skin off her hind leg.

Then she ate it.  "Eeeeeyyyyuuuuuu!" was the comment from the daughter.  I read somewhere that it provided some nutrients.  Daughter was still not impressed.

It was pretty cool to watch -- the skin came off inside out just like pulling off a pair of tight jeans.

She rubbed against the logs and rocks in her aquarium to loosen the skin on her body.

She spent a lot of time pulling the skin off of her front, um, paws?  Hands?  She does have little finger-like thingies and what look like little claws (nails?) on them.

The color under the discarded skin is really bright.

I have left these pictures large, so click on them to examine her closely.  She really is quite amazing.  She uses one corner of the tank to do her business -- I never would have guessed that a reptile would care!
And now she's had enough of being my photography subject.  I imagine the flash isn't all that fun for her.  She isn't really reacting to me -- she's still trying to remove the skin from her front, um, digits.    And as interesting as she is, I really do prefer the fuzzy kind of pet.  Especially the kind that doesn't have to live in a cage.


Quilt Rat said...

Pup looks to be come only one picture of me?

Thanks for the photos of the Gecko....quite fascinating often can you expect to see this skin shedding process?

What a good "gecko-mom" :-)

Lynn said...

What a good mom you are (human and gecko)! I'm with you - reptiles = yuck. And purchasing and keeping live crickets - oh my. But ... the shedding and eating the skin is disgustingly interesting somehow. I'm just glad to be able to see photos instead of having to deal with the real thing. Good luck!

Gail said...

Great post, I enjoyed the education. I do wonder however, how a gecko can be considered a pet. Love your dog - so gentle and kind looking. Also very handsome.

Karen M said...

Great photos, Karen! This was amazing to watch through your eyes. Practice for your new role as Nature Documentary maker, maybe?

Judi said...

Great pics thanks for sharing I haven't seen one shed it's skin before.

Chris said...

There she is live and in person looking just like the art quilt. How interesting that she would eat her skin. Do you think that has to do with cleanliness? P.S. I see you will be a guest blogger on and then we set it on fire. Congrats!

Jan said...

Great photos, I don't know that I have ever seen so many before of a molt, thanks for sharing. I rather like reptiles, including snakes. But like you, I'd rather have fuzzy ones that don't need to be confined. Your dog is beautiful, cute little tucked under feet.

Trish said...

The photos were great. I really haven't viewed a gecko up close and the colors on repeat are fascinating. Thanks for sharing!