Frog tongue physics described in reports in Science (AAAS) News 31 January, ScienceDaily 1 February 2017, and Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 20160764 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0764, 1 February 2017. Engineers and biologists at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, have studied how frogs’ tongues function. It is not just enough for the tongue to be fast and sticky. A frog has to capture and hold onto its food and then release it into its mouth to be swallowed. The researchers found that it was a combination of the softness of the tongue and the changing viscosity of the saliva that enabled successful bug capture.

They found the frog’s tongue is one the softest and most elastic biological materials so far found, and easily expands and wraps around any captured prey, absorbing and dissipating the force of the prey’s collision with the tongue, something like a car’s shock absorbers.

They also found the frog’s saliva acts as a non-Newtonian fluid, i.e. its flow properties changes at different phases of the capture. Initially the saliva flows like water, spreading out over the surface and into any indentations in the prey’s surface. It then becomes thick and sticky, like extra thick honey but stickier, when the frog is pulling the tongue with the captured prey back into its mouth.

Finally, when the frog swallows, the prey is pushed along in parallel to the tongue, and saliva flows easily again, allowing the meal to slide down the frog’s throat. The research team concluded: “This combination of properties gives the tongue 50 times greater work of adhesion than known synthetic polymer materials such as the sticky-hand toy. These principles may inspire the design of reversible adhesives for high-speed application”.

Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Once again, scientists are looking at working biological systems in order to intelligently design useful materials and devices. If they believe that frogs’ tongues came about by chance random evolution, they are being deliberately ignorant of the fact that the functioning system they want to copy had to be designed in the first place, or it wouldn’t be worth studying to see how they could intelligently design a copy-cat system.

But to repeat a point we make so often: the superb non-stick-flow mode/impact- sticky mode/swallow non-stick frog mouth juice had to have a designer, who was far more intelligent than the scientists are. Why? Because the Creator who made the biological system started from nothing, whilst human scientists are merely copying what already exists. This is a humbling admission, and sadly it is what prevents many otherwise intelligent people from facing up to the truth that all living things on earth, including themselves, are created beings, and therefore dependent on, and accountable to Christ the Creator, who made all things in the beginning, and now upholds all things by the word of His power. (Ref. amphibians, biomimetics, feeding)

Evidence News vol. 17, No. 3
15 March 2017
Creation Research Australia