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Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do Snake Stick out Their Tongues?

Why Do Snake Stick out Their Tongues?

The old belief that a snake stings with its tongue isn’t true. The flickering tongue is actually a delicate sense organ that helps the snake to smell. A snake’s tongue is long and forked at the end. It darts through a small hole in the front of the snake’s mouth.

As the snake moves along the ground, its flickering tongue senses odors in the air. The tongue relays the information to special organs in the mouth which are linked to the snake’s sense of smell. By picking up the odors, the tongue helps the snake to locate food and sense the presence of enemies.

All snakes have a special organ called the Jacobson Organ. This special organ is found on the root of the snake’s mouth, and its sole function is to keep the snake aware of its environment. As the snake extends its tongue, it picks up small chemical particles from the environment and allows them to dissolves on its tongue.

Once the particles have dissolved on the forked tongue, the snake pulls its tongue back in and puts the two points of the tongue into the openings of the Jacobson Organ. By doing this, the snake can then recognize smells and is keenly aware of what is around him to eat and to avoid.

Content for this question contributed by Jesse Taylor, resident of Lakeside, San Diego County, California, USA