Thu. Feb 9th, 2023

The frog and its amazing tongue

The sticky and flexible tongue of the frog has interested scientists for centuries. The first research on this organ was carried out back in the 19th century. Later analyses compared it to duct tape, but this was not a complete picture of this fascinating organ.

More light has been shed on the frog’s tongue by research led by Alexis Noel of the Georgia Institute of Technology. A frog uses its tongue like a whip to grab victims with it. It strikes the prey with it at high speed – The tongue is ejected in milliseconds. Someóre species of these amphibiansów are able to attract a weight three times their weight with their tongue.

The results of scientific researchów from an American university show that the tongues of frogs are exceptionally sticky. This is due to the unique properties of their saliva. When hunting, saliva is thick and sticky, allowing it to be more effective in acquiring food. But the same saliva can turn into a thin and watery liquid.

– There are actually three phases. When the tongue strikes the insect, the saliva is similar to water and fills all the gaps between the insect and the surface of the tongue. Then, as the tongue begins to retract, the saliva changes and becomes more viscous, thicker than honey. Which allows better transport of prey. In the last phase, saliva znów becomes thin and watery when the insect is already in the mouth opening – explained Noel.

The frog’s tongue is also extremely soft. About ten times as much as the human tongue. Scientists poróThey brought it into the tissue mózgu. This combination of the unique properties of saliva with the unusual structure of the tongue is very effective. The adhesion of the frog’s hunting organ is about 50 times greater than the latest synthetic polymeric materials.

For the study, the researchers recorded the frog while hunting with a high-end camera to later play the video in slow motion. All to better understand the workings of the frog’s tongue. – The frog’s tongue acts much like a bungee cord once it has caught its prey. Due to its remarkable flexibility, it can change shape during contact with its prey and while pulling its prey into its mouth opening – Noel said.

The success of frogs lies in their saliva, whichóra changes its properties in the blink of an eye. If it were possible to develop a liquid with similar characteristics, it could be used to create new glue that reverses its parametersów. Such material would also find its place in industry. The applications are many, if only when róThey kill their victims by strangling them with adhesive tape or shoe solesów.

The findings were published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.