Super-sticky frog leaves scientists tongue-tied

Jun 12, 2014
A photo obtained from the Christian-Albrechts-Universitat of Kiel shows a South-American horned frog (genus Ceratophrys), waiting for its prey

A South American frog has a tongue so sticky it can generate pulling forces three times the animal's own bodyweight, scientists reported on Thursday.

The amphibian with the lingual power is the horned frog—Ceratophrys in Latin—which is famous for grabbing outsized prey like snakes, lizards, crabs and rodents.

Curious to understand the trick, Thomas Kleinteich and Stanislav Gorb, biomechanics specialists at the Christian Albrecht University in Kiel, northern Germany, placed juicy titbits behind a pressure-sensitive glass panel.

Aiming for the food, the frog glommed its tongue onto the plate, enabling the team to measure the appendage's pulling power.

The big surprise was that the stickiness did not derive much from the mucus that coats the frog's tongue, the team said.

Instead, it is the surface texture of the , and the qualities of its underlying tissues, that most likely provide the bulk of the adhesive strength.

"The experimental data shows that tongues can be best compared to pressure-sensitive adhesives that are of common technical use as adhesive tapes or labels," according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: Sample of a frog's slimy skin predicts susceptibility to disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New golden frog discovered in remote region of Colombia

Aug 28, 2007

A new poisonous frog was recently discovered in a remote mountainous region in Colombia by a team of young scientists supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP). The new frog, which is almost two centimetres ...

Recommended for you

Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

Jul 25, 2014

The "dog days of summer" are here, but don't let the phrase fool you. This hot time of year can be dangerous for your pup, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

Monkeys fear big cats less, eat more, with humans around

Jul 25, 2014

Some Monkeys in South Africa have been found to regard field scientists as human shields against predators and why not if the alternative is death by leopard? The researchers found the monkeys felt far safer ...

User comments : 0