What Is Molting? What Animals Molt? When?


molting, mountain goat

A molting mountain goat is shedding its thick winter coat.

Molting is just the procedure of animals replacing their hair or feathers with new ones.  Here is an overview of which animals molt, when, and why they do it.

From time to time I want that I could molt, just crawl out of my old skin and get some good, fresh, clean skin.  Or possibly I could shed all of my hair and then speedily develop new, wholesome hair that would appear excellent and that would aid me attract a date.  There are lots of various types of animals that shed some or all of their hair or feathers at various points in their life.  Different sorts of animals molt at various occasions of year or various stages in their life for a selection of motives.

moltingWhat is Molting?

To commence with I believed it greatest to begin with the standard which means of the word.  The dictionary definition of molting is – to shed the feathers, skin or like that will be replaced by new development.

Or yet another definition states – the procedure of shedding an external skeleton for the goal of development or transform in shape (such as what occurs in the course of metamorphosis).

These are the dictionary definitions, but I’ll place it in my personal words just to hopefully, make it very simple and understandable.  Molting is a time when an animal gets rid of some hair, feathers, or even an exoskeleton to let for new development.

What Animals Molt?

The various types of animals that molt involve birds, insects, reptiles, and even mammals.

Why Do Animals Molt?

There are a lot of various motives that animals molt.  Some do it in order to let them to develop larger.  Others molt in order to appear excellent so that they can attract a mate.  Some animals molt due to the fact they require to get rid of their thick winter coat that permitted them to survive the winter.  Here are some of the principal motives that the various types of animals molt:

molting, cardinal, bird

A molting cardinal.


Why – Birds molt their old feathers in order to develop new, wholesome feathers.  The new feathers will normally be a various colour than the old ones.

When – Birds will molt most or all of their feathers at various occasions in the course of their life or in the course of the year.  The new feathers that birds develop will indicate a various age, sex, or time of year.

In the course of the mating season, male birds will develop brightly colored feathers in order to attract a mate.  This is like a individual placing on their fanciest garments in order to get focus.  Male birds will develop brightly colored feathers in order to get the females focus and to show the females how wholesome they are.  It’s like displaying the females that they have access to excellent sources and they are robust and would make a excellent mate.  You can discover extra about the prevalent birds of the Rocky Mountains right here.

molting, cicada, exoskeleton

A cicada has just molted or crawled out of its old exoskeleton.


Why – In sharp contrast to humans, insects have their skeletons on the outdoors of their physique.  This is named an exoskeleton.  The skeleton on the outdoors of their physique does not develop as the insect grows older and larger.  Due to this, insects molt or crawl out of their old exoskeleton in order to develop a new, bigger exoskeleton.  Molting for insects is just portion of the procedure of increasing.

When –  Insects will molt when they transform from their larval or nymph type into an adult.  This may perhaps take spot at many occasions all through the years, but most generally occurs in the course of the spring and summer time.  You can discover extra about the prevalent insects of the Rocky Mountains right here.

molting, molt, snake, snake skin,

An old snake skin that has been molted.


Why and When – Reptiles shed their skin due to the fact their skin does not develop bigger.  This indicates that as the snake, lizard, or turtle grows bigger the skin just gets tighter.  At some point the reptile demands to molt or shed its old skin in order to develop new skin that is larger.  Snakes shed their whole skin all at 1 time.  On the other hand lizards and turtles shed their skin in smaller sized pieces.


When elk molt in the springtime they do not appear quite regal.


Why and When – Some mammals shed fur all through the year, but other people will shed or molt their fur at specific occasions of the year.  For instance, 1 of the principal occasions of year that they do this is in the spring.  One of the winter survival techniques for mammals that reside in quite cold climates is to adapt by increasing a thick winter coat.

For instance, elk or mountain goats develop thick winter coats.  Then when the climate warms up in the spring they require to get rid of their thick winter fur.  At that point in the year they appear ragged and scruffy as they are losing that old winter coat.  You can discover extra about the prevalent mammals of the Rocky Mountains right here.


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