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Do snakes go blind during dog days?

There is only a grain of truth in the old belief that snakes go blind during dog days. Before sloughing its skin a snake assumes a dull grayish color and appears to be blind. Shortly before shedding, the eyes of snakes have a milky appearance, owing to the separation of the outer layer of the epidermis from the anterior part of the outer coat of the eyeballs. This results in temporary impaired vision. After shedding the snake’s eyes regain their clearness. It is erroneous, however, to suppose that snakes’ shed their skin once a year during dog days or the hot season. Sloughing may occur several times in the course of a year. Snakes grow fastest in warm weather and the more they grow, the oftener they shed their skins. That is the only connection there is between dog days and the sloughing of snakes.

Posted by on March 19, 2010.

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Categories: Trivia

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