We all know that frogs like to eat insects. The iconic image of a frog quickly grabbing on to some passing flying insect with its long tongue is probably seared into all of our brains. How do those tongues seem to make insects stick to them like glue? What you might not have known is that frog spit actually has some amazing properties that help it catch it’s food.
It all comes down to frog spit. This fluid doesn’t act like your normal fluids, but rather takes on different properties at different times. A frog’s spit can actually change from normal thin fluid to a glue-like substance in an instant. This is the real secret behind their amazing ability to catch insects straight out of the air. The two different fluids each have their own purpose when it comes to catching bugs. When the frog catches an insect with its tongue the saliva is still thin, and the contact area actually becomes bigger as the bug hits the tongue. That thin liquid then oozes around the insect, trapping it on the frog’s tongue. As the tongue retracts the saliva get thicker and becomes a glue-like substance, conveniently trapping the bug that is now covered in it. That’s some pretty amazing spit if you ask me!
Have you ever seen a frog eat an insect that seemed much too large for it to catch with its tongue? How did you think frogs were able to catch insects with their tongue so easily?