Horned frog
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Frog tongue force can 'lift own weight'

Scientists measuring the force exerted by the tongue of a horned frog have found that it can can be up to three times the animal's own weight.

Researchers in Kiel, Germany, put a tasty cricket on the other side of a glass slide so that they could measure the forces associated with the frog's tongue strike.

They were also able to compare the strength of the tongue's pull with the amount of mucus left in the "tongue print" on the slide.

Surprisingly, stronger sticky forces were associated with less mucus, not more.

Horned frogs lurk half-buried and wait for prey to pass by.

Their tongues need only milliseconds to pick up almost anything, and they have been known to eat animals up to half their body size, including mice.

This slow-motion video shows a frog pouncing and picking up an adult cricket with its tongue. The video shows less than one second in real time.

Video courtesy of Thomas Kleinteich.

  • 12 Jun 2014