“While taking a peaceful stroll along a forest trail, I was suddenly startled by a ghostly pale creature clinging to a tree (above).
“Upon closer inspection, I realised that it was a male Black-bearded Flying Dragon (Draco melanopogon) which was in the process of shedding its old skin (above, below).
“At times, the lizard would take a bite of the skin flake and ingest it, recycling precious proteins (below).
“I have also witnessed similar recycling behaviour in humans who habitually nibble on their fingernails.”
Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
25th January 2017
Thanks for the interesting photos and observations! ^^ I’ve only seen changeable lizards moulting. Dracos have much more skin to shed! With all the flaky white skin coming off in big patches, it also makes them easier to spot. Might make them more vulnerable to predators too?
Leong Tzi Ming
Yes, Karyne, I would suppose all that white & flaky skin disrupts their usual camouflage pattern against the tree bark, and hence potentially makes them more visible & vulnerable to predators. Thus, the shedding process has to be completed as swiftly as possible, perhaps within a day or two, to minimise exposure to predators.