Monday, June 17, 2019

Ecdysis: a work in progress

Sometimes snakes can’t slough. They can’t burst their old skin. Then they go sick and die inside the old skin, and nobody ever sees the new pattern. It needs a real desperate recklessness to burst your old skin at last. You simply don’t care what happens to you, if you rip yourself in two, so long as you do get out.
D. H. Lawrence (1885 - 1930)

Numerous animals periodically moult, either seasonally or as part of their life cycles. The shedding of a snake’s skin is also known as sloughing, or ecdysis.

The discarded skin, which frequently remains intact, includes the brille, or ocular scale, so moulting is crucial for sustaining the snake’s clarity of vision.

Pictured above and below: selected progress views of Ecdysis, acrylic on linen, 40.5 x 30.5 cm.