Deban Lab Movies
Physiology and Biomechanics of Movement
Bufo terrestris is a terrestrial anuran species from the southeastern United States. Like all members of the genus Bufo, it captures prey with a projectile tongue. The tongue is attached to the tip of the lower jaw and is literally whipped out of the mouth when the jaw is rapidly lowered. In the movie, note that the lower jaw is stationary by the time the tongue tip leaves the mouth. The rest of tongue projection is accomplished by momentum that has been imparted to the tongue by the lower jaw. This video was recorded at 3,000 frames per second and plays back at 100 times slower than actual speed.
The veiled chameleon can project its tongue approximately twice the length of its body. Like in salamanders, the tongue is projected ballistically. However, the mechanism of tongue projection in chameleons differs from that of salamanders in that the tongue accelerator muscle is launched from the mouth instead of the tongue skeleton, which stays behind. This veiled chameleon is capturing a suspended cricket, displaying the precision with which it can place its tongue. Tongue projection occurs 50 times faster than shown in this movie.
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