Like a feather, a snake’s skin is made of keratin, the strongest of animal materials. And like feathers, snake skins are shed periodically. A snake sheds its skin and scales while a bird just sheds its feathers and gets to keep its skin.
Because of their physical similarities to feathers, you might understand my fascination with snake skin sheds. Flattening a shed skin with a hot steam iron, it is as thin as tissue paper and has all the scales and patterns that were once on the snake.