Sunday, November 19, 2023

The Story of the Finest Armor: Developmental Aspects of Reptile Skin


A reptile's skin is as intriguing as it is fascinating. Scales on the reptile provide protection against microbes and provides a strong physical barrier. For those reptiles that live in hot, dessert- areas, scales act as a way to keep moisture in. Special abilities such as water repellency was adapted as reptiles moved from water dwelling to land dwelling. The cornification of reptiles nails is also a integral part in their evolutionary transition from water to land. One layer of the skin, is the base for the "shedding plan". This shedding plane is the area in which a reptile sheds a layer of skin briefly. Beta cells in the dermis lead to CBP clusters, which are variable from species to species. These CBT filaments were found to make up the matrix and also form structures such as claws, scute, and beak. Strength of these filaments is highly dependent upon makeup and amino acid structure at the N- and C- terminals. 

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