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Salamander with a ballistic tongue


, : Salamander with a ballistic tongue. Nature 389: 8

The tongue of salamanders of the genus Hydromantes is a true projectile. Found in California, Italy, and France, Hydromantes species are the only plethodontids, lungless salamanders, of the Old World. Photographic evidence showed that the tongue of the Sardinian H. supramontis is protruded up to 80 percent of its body length and that the tongue skeleton leaves the mouth entirely. The tongue protraction is truly ballistic, as the skeleton is projected far beyond the range within which the protractor muscles can impart force on it.

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