Scientists Measure Strength of Frog Tongue

Scientists measured how much the sticky tongue of horned frogs attracts prey. The researchers from Germany and America discovered that some individuals can raise their own tongue to three times heavier than their own body. 

It is known that some frogs can eat very large prey, including mice. They grab it, throwing forward their language. So far, it remains unclear exactly how it works. To understand this issue, the authors conducted an experiment with four Horned Frogs Ceratophrys.


During the experiments, the glass was placed in front of the frog and behind it – cricket. When the animal threw out the language, scientists measured how much it sticks to the glass. They repeated this 20 times to make results more reliable. It turned out that in the first moment of contact with the glass adhesion forces arising enough to pull the victim, by weight exceeding itself frog on average 1,5-2,9 times (maximum – 3.4).

In reality, frogs do not attack such heavy animals, that proves that their tongue’ capabilities exceed their needs. Experiments have shown that when the frog tongue sticks to the glass the most, it is only medium-sized stain mucus. Accordingly, gripping force does not depend directly on the amount of slime – apparently involved here, and other mechanisms. 

Earlier strength of tongue of amphibians was measured first only in salamanders, but their tongue sticks to animals much weaker than do frogs. This is due to the fact that the tongue tailed and tailless amphibians evolved independently. 

Interestingly zoologists have also found that miniature frogs from the Seychelles perfectly distinguish croaking of relatives, despite the absence of the eardrum. Perceive sounds helps them oral cavity. 

Research Article:

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Natalja Smirnova


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