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Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do Snakes Always Stick out Their Tongues?

Why Do Snakes Always Stick out Their Tongues?

The snake’s forked tongue is a very delicate sense organ. That tongue is to smell you, not to harm you. As it flickers in and out of the snake’s mouth, its tip picks up odor particles from the air or ground. The tongue then puts the odor particles into two tiny cavities in the roof of the mouth.

These cavities, known as Jacobson’s organ, are linked with the snake’s sense of smell and taste. By picking up the odor particles, the tongue helps the snake to locate its food and mates. The old belief that the snake stings with it tongue is simply not true.

The forked tongue of a snake gives him a sinister appearance, but the fork isn’t designed to instill fear in all who see it. Instead, it gives the snake a bit of an edge as he’s trying to track down food or a mate.

Sticking out the forked tongue helps him determine a smell’s direction. The left and right fork might bring in different smells, or different levels of the same smell, helping the snake figure out which direction it’s coming from.

Content for this question contributed by Lila Solis Paniza, resident of Butuan City, Philippines