Sunday, 4 October 2015

Frog tongues: Sticky strips of pure muscle

Date: October 1, 2015

Source: Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel

Scientists from the Functional Morphology and Biomechanics research group at Kiel University have shown, for the first time, what happens when a frog's tongue makes contact with a surface. They discovered similarities to conventional adhesive tape. Like sticky tape, the tongues form lots of little threads (fibrils) when being removed from a surface, which break one at a time before the contact disconnects.

"We got horned frogs to spit their tongues towards a cricket, which was placed behind a sheet of glass," said Dr Thomas Kleinteich from the Zoological Institute to describe the experiment. The glass was connected to a light source which lit up the places the tongue came into contact with. The researchers then filmed these lit areas using a high-speed camera with a time resolution of 0.5 milliseconds (half of a thousandth of a second). This enabled them to observe exactly how the contact formed and then disconnected again.

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