Frog Uses Drainpipe to Amp Up Mating Calls
"The thing that's interesting about frog tongues is that they're really fast," he told BBC News. "It only takes milliseconds."
Of course, force, alone, can't capture a cricket or mouse. That also requires some stick, which, in the case of the frog, comes in the form of mucus. Interestingly, the researchers found that less may be more when it comes to mucus and grabbing power.
"The common belief is... that the mucus acts as some sort of superglue," Dr Kleinteich told the BBC. "But what we found was actually that we got higher adhesive forces in trials where we found less mucus. That was quite interesting."
Video: 3 Weird Frog Discoveries!
Kleinteich likened the function of the frog's mucus-coated tongue to that of sticky tape, where both the structure of the tape and the stickiness play a role - not stickiness alone.
"So to actually establish the contact, there might be very little mucus involved," he explained.
Dr. Kleinteich and his group are now doing further analysis of the frog's tongue to better understand its gripping mechanics. It's all part of an effort to find new and better ways to make products like boot soles, tape and seals grip and stick.