We studied beneficial difference of the skin of two snakes. Two snakes were chosen from two different habitats and two families: Colubridae (Natrix tessellata) and Viperidae (Cerastes vipera). The investigations were performed by light and electron microscopy. Histologically, the skin of the studied species show pronounced modifications that correlated with functional demands. The scales in Natrix tessellata overlapped slightly, while in Cerastes vipera they were highly overlapped. SEM shows that scales of Natrix tessellata had bidentate tips while the scales of Cerastes vipera were keeled. Histochemically, in both studied species, melanocytes and collagenous fibres were distributed throughout the dermis. Polysaccharides were highly concentrated in the epidermis and dermis of both species while proteins were highly concentrated only in the epidermis. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the skin of both snakes consisted of keratins located in the epidermis. Some lipids and mucus were incorporated into the outer scale surfaces such that lipids were part of the fully keratinised hard layer of the snakes' skins. Lipids are probably responsible for limiting water loss and ion movements across the skin. Melanosomes from epidermal melanocytes were present only in Cerastes vipera. In aggregate, these results indicate that snakeskin may provide an ecological indicator whereby epidermal and integumentary specializations may be ecologically correlated.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 28 • No. 10