All reptiles including alligators shed their skin in some way, shape, or form. While snakes are known to shed all of their skin off at once, and lizards will shed in patches as they grow, the alligator and crocodile’s skins are scaly and often will come off in individual scales instead.
Therefore, while alligators shed their skin like other animals do, their “molting” process is much different from other reptiles. Just like most animals including mammals, a healthy alligator will continue to shed its scales regularly, and may even be seen rubbing up against trees and rocks to assist the creature in rubbing off the dead skin.
As alligators shed their scales, newer, larger, and denser scales are formed. This process continues as an alligator grows in age and size. As a result, an alligator’s skin becomes incredibly strong and dense which makes it resistant to the abuse that would tear or scar the skin or most mammals. Due to this occurrence, it has been falsely stated or theorized by some that an alligator’s skin is “bulletproof”. While not bullet proof, alligator leather is extremely durable and because of this it unfortunately makes it a popular leather to use in products and upholstery where dense yet attractive leather is “needed”.
Leave a Reply