The process of shedding the old skin (in reptiles) or casting off the outer cuticle (in insects and other arthropods).
- At ecdysis, the animal sheds the old exoskeleton while absorbing large quantities of water to stretch the new exoskeleton.
- In both groups, tissue loss must occur before a critical period to permit regeneration before the next ecdysis and proecdysial processes are suspended during regeneration in order to maintain proper timing of events.
- During terminal pleateau there are a series of large pulses of circulating ecdysteroids which appear to be necessary for successful ecdysis of the entire exoskeleton.
- Example sentences
- Passonneau and Williams have described in the developing cecropia silkworm an 'ecdysial membrane' situated between pupal and adult cuticles.
- The ecdysial suture is the region of the arthropod exoskeleton that splits to allow the animal to emerge during ecdysis.
Mid 19th century: from Greek ekdusis, from ekduein 'put off', from ek- 'out, off' + duein 'put'.
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