What do snakes use their tongues for?


Picture of a hooknose natter snake.


Snake tongue


Some persons believe that a poisonous snake bites with its flicking tongue, thereby pouring poison into its victim, but such is not the case.

It uses its teeth for that purpose.

Besides being forked, the tongue of a snake is narrow and very sensitive.

The snake will put it out of its mouth from time to time to feel the air.

Then when it touches the sense cavities or so-called Jacobson’s organ in the roof of its mouth with the tip of its tongue, the scent molecules from the air, which have stuck to the tongue, give it a sense of smell.

A tongue for smelling?

Yes, the snakes have it.

They even have a sheath into which the tongue may be withdrawn so that it will not become damaged when not in use.