Watch a woodpecker defend itself with its long sticky tongue - DMT NEWS

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Watch a woodpecker defend itself with its long sticky tongue

Woodpeckers have especially long and narrow tongues. They normally use them to get deep into trees to grab a tasty bug or grub, or get a mouthful of sap. But, in this clip, you'll see one use it to defend itself from another bird. Filmed from behind a window, this provides a rare, up-close look at just how impressive that tongue really is.

Alas, despite the valiant effort, the other bird doesn't seem to be deterred. "A" for effort, feathered friend. (Reddit)

And since we're on the topic of woodpecker tongues, let's look at the remarkable way they work. Their tongues are so long that they literally wrap around their brains. This isn't some random quirk of nature, but a brilliant biological adaptation.

American Bird Conservancy:

Having its tongue wrapped around the back of its brain doesn't just give a woodpecker somewhere to store a long appendage; it also helps protect the bird's brain from injury during high-speed pecking.

When the muscles that surround the woodpecker hyoid bone contract, they don't just cause the woodpecker to stick out its tongue. That tensing-up action also helps hold the skull and spine snugly in place as the bird's beak collides with a tree, just like a seat belt keeps you from flying forward if someone slams on the brakes.



via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Rusty Blazenhoff, Khareem Sudlow