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Super Sticky Tongues Help Frogs Snatch Prey Quickly
Click image to see a leopard frog catch a cricket using its sticky tongue.

A frog can grab its prey at an incredible speed. But how is this possible? Scientists have discovered it is due to their specialized tongues. Their saliva is neither a liquid or a solid. One researcher compared the consistency to a mixture of cornstarch and water. When you shake it in a jar, it seems liquid. But pressing on it yields a solid surface. A frog’s saliva works the opposite way. When the tongue hits food, the saliva becomes more liquid and creeps into every crack on the surface of the prey’s body. Then the saliva thickens to a more solid state as the tongue retracts. This holds the prey in place. The tongue is made up of very soft tissue. It can stretch out at an amazing speed, working like a bungee cord. When it snaps back into the frog’s mouth, it absorbs any force created by the weight of the prey. The tongue matter and saliva combination allows frogs to gobble up a meal literally faster than the blink of an eye.

Read more about frog’s and their amazingly fast tongues.

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