Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chameleon Tongue 5x Faster Than Jet Fighter

Jurriaan de Groot of Leiden University, and Johan van Leeuwen of Wageningen University, taking X-ray films of high-speed, ie 500 frames per second, in order to investigate how the chameleon tongue works when capturing prey. These films showed that the tip of the tongue chameleon accelerating 50 g (g = gravitational constant). Acceleration is five times greater than can be achieved by a jet fighter.

Text books zoologist explains that ballistic chameleon tongue muscles strengthened by a piece of accelerator (accelerator). This muscle extends when pressing down on the tongue bone, which form cartilage stiff in the middle of the tongue, yangmembungkusnya. However, in a study that has been approved for issue by the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Series B), two experts who studied the morphology of the eating habits of chameleons found other elements associated with rapid movements of the tongue of this animal.


The researchers dissected the tissue of the tongue and found that the accelerator muscle was not strong enough to generate the necessary force alone. By examining a chameleon tongue, they discovered the existence of at least 10 packs slippery, which until then unknown, in between the accelerator muscle and bone of the tongue.

These packets, which is attached to the bone of the tongue on the end closest to the mouth, it is observed containing protein fibers berajutan spiral. These fibers solidify and change shape when the accelerator muscle power danmenyimpan shrivel like a piece of rubber bands that depressed.

When we reach the tip of the tongue round bone, tight sheaths this danmemanjang simultaneously sliding and shrinking with kekuatandan catapult tongue. As fast as these fibers sliding of the tongue bone, packets to each other as separate tubes of a telescope, and therefore achieve the coverage longest tongue. Van Leeuwen said, "This is a telescopic catapult."


These slingshots have another characteristic that is very striking. The tip of the tongue takes the form of hollow when struck prey. When ejected, the tongue may protrude as far as six times its length when resting in the mouth, and two times the length of his own body.

Muscle groups with different properties are impeccably cast tongue, memercepatnya, causing the tongue takes the form of suction when it hit the prey and then quickly withdraw.

These muscle groups do not hinder each other their respective functions, but works with synced in a way that hit the prey and pull the tongue back into her mouth in less than a second. Additionally, thanks to cooperation between the visual system and brain, and measured prey standing orders for ballistic tongue to "shoot!" Is given by the nerves that transmit signals in the brain.