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The moulting of the skin occurs regularly, when old skin is outgrown. In the case of snakes, it is called shedding or ecdysis. Snakes will rub against rough surfaces to shed their skin. A shed skin is much longer than the snake that shed it, as the skin covers the top and bottom of each scale. If the skin is shed intact, each scale is unwrapped on the top and bottom side of the scale which almost doubles the length of the shed skin. While a snake is in the process of shedding the skin over its eye may become milky. This impairs the vision of the snake and as a result most snakes will become more aggressive because the snake feels more vulnerable.
Snakeskin is used to make clothing such as vests, belts, boots or shoes or fashion accessories such as handbags and is used to cover the sound board of some string musical instruments, such as the banhu, sanxian or the sanshin.
Snake leather is regarded as an exotic product alongside crocodile, lizard, ostrich, emu, camel, among others. With crocodile and lizard leathers, it belongs to the category of reptile leathers, with a scaly appearance.
Chinese sanxian with snakeskin-covered sound board
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