Leopard gecko skin eating behaviour

Leopard gecko skin eating behaviour
Published by Author Renier Delport Posted on on .
Filed under Categories Leopard geckos, .
Featured image credit: TheGeckoSpot.net

Naturally, Leopard geckos are known to eat their sloughed skins. Although this might be among the most bizarre Leopard gecko behaviours, it it quite normal. Although the reasoning for Leopard gecko skin eating behaviour is not fully documented or understood, a few theories exist.

Skin eating behaviour, also called ceratophagia (which means “horneating”), is not unique to Leopard geckos. This behaviour is also documented in other reptiles and even crustaceans.

Most believe that by eating the skin, Leopard geckos reuse some of its minerals and other possible nutrients. Living in a desert is tough and some of these minerals are scarce, just to be used to compose new skin again. It makes complete sense to recycle things that can be reused again.

Other believe that Leopard gecko skin eating behaviour is instinctively a protection mechanism against predators. By leaving no physical evidence or smell behind predators are less likely to hang around.

By watching a Leopard gecko eating its skin (see below), it also becomes evident that by pulling the skin off, the process is hastened and made easier. The sloughing process becomes less hindered and normal activity can start to take place sooner.

About the author
Renier has a keen interest in the welfare of pet reptiles. He has been keeping and treating Leopard geckos for many years and has written various forms of literature on them and other fascinating reptiles.

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