Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ABC Wednesday: Fissilingual

Black Mamba (the inside of their mouth is black, not the snake)

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Green Mamba

Gaboon viper

Eastern Green Mamba

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of their actual tongues, but all these snakes are fissilingual. Which means: having a forked tongue. Snakes use their tongue to smell, they have a special organ on the roof of their mouth (the Jacobson's Organ) that is used to analyse scent molecules the tongue gathers. And since the tongue is forked, they can get a sense of direction from it when the smell is weaker on one side than on the other. Scent in 3D.

See what else F stands for with ABC Wednesday
All photos were taken at Hagenbecks Tierpark.

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