Frog's Tongue Mystery Explained, Super-Adhesive Power Cracked By Scientists
Have you ever wondered why frogs can catch insects faster than a blink? These amphibians have one of nature's most amazing methods of catching their prey. Science has an answer to this powerful ability and it's in their spit.
According to Science News, frogs use their whip-like tongue to snag its prey quickly, hitting insects with a force of about five times greater than gravity. But the real question is, how do frogs hang onto its meal as the food rockets back into its mouth?
A Frog's Tongue Is Very Soft And Is Able To Stretch And Store Energy
A study led by Alexis Noel of the Georgia Institute of Technology found that the tongue's unique stickiness results from a combination of a soft, viscoelastic tongue coupled with a reversible saliva. The frog's tongue is as soft as brain tissue and 10 times softer than the human tongue, and is able to stretch and store energy much like a spring.
"The tongue acts like a bungee cord once it latches onto its prey," Noel said. "It deforms itself as it pulls back toward the mouth, continually storing the intense applied forces in its stretchy tissue and dissipating them in its internal damping."
Tissue Damping Is Very Much Like A Car's Shock Absorbers
Science Daily said that the tissue damping is much like a car's shock absorbers. Also, the softness of the tongue allows it to change shape during contact and immediately afterwards while retracting.
There are three phases, Noel said. When the frog's tongue first hits the insect, the saliva is almost like water and fills the insect's crevices. Afterwards, the tongue snaps back, the saliva changes and becomes more viscous - gripping the insect for the ride back. Then, the saliva turns watery again when the insect is sheared off inside the mouth.
New Species of Thumbnail-Size Frogs Discovered In India
Indian scientists have found the smallest frogs in the world – new frog species that can sit comfortably on your fingernail or coin. Four species of the new frogs were discovered in the Western Ghats of India, where three new species had earlier been found before. The frogs were found to belong to the genus Nyctibatrachus or night frogs after five years of extensive exploration.
Michigan Wants Volunteers to Survey Toads and Frogs Again This Year
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is requesting for individual volunteers to help out with its yearly frog and toad survey. The main aim of this annual event is to help the state determine the population and growth amphibians in the state. Volunteers will only need to listen to frog calls during the breeding season and identify their species and numbers.
Odd couple shared 250-million year old nest
An amphibian and a precursor to mammals that co-habitated a nest, 250 million years ago, have just been discovered, making them an old, odd couple.
Bullfrogs not immune to deadly fungus they spread
Bullfrogs may die of the deadly fungus they themselves spread, a new study suggests.
Northeast India home to legless amphibians
Researchers have discovered three new legless amphibian species in the forests of northeast India.
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