Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology and Biomechanics

Tongue-flicking in Snakes

My main research on the rapid oscillatory tongue-flicking in snakes. In collaboration with my dissertation advisor, Dr. Kurt Schwenk, I have begun to describe the kinematics and fluid dynamics of tongue-flicking, with high-speed video and digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV). For years, many researchers have attributed tongue-flicking to all sorts of behaviors, including taste, fly-catching, nose-clearing, and almost everything else under the sun. Thankfully, we now know that tongue-flicking serves to collect odor molecules, from the air and terrain, and bring them to the vomeronasal organ (VNO).

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