Watch: A frog’s tongue is an ultrasoft shock absorber

The sticky, elastic tongues of amphibians have fascinated researchers for decades—the first study of frog and toad tongues was done in 1849. However, the underlying physics of this adhesive feat remained unclear. Previous studies compared frog tongues to scotch tape, but that’s not the full picture, researchers report today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Yes, frog tongues are uniquely sticky (and their saliva makeup is crucial in bug capture), but they’re also very soft—10 times softer than human tongues and one of the softest known biological materials. That softness makes frog tongues more like adhesive shock absorbers than scotch tape, the researchers suggest. | Read more ...

Rachael Lallensack