Water Snake with tongue out…a forked tongue is a feature common to many species of reptiles. Reptiles smell using the tip of their tongue, and a forked tongue allows them to sense which direction a smell is coming from. The advantage to having a forked tongue is that more surface area is available for the chemicals to contact. The tongue is flicked out of the mouth regularly to sample the chemical environment. This form of chemical sampling allows these animals to sense non-volatile chemicals, which cannot be detected by simply using the olfactory system. This increased ability to sense chemicals has allowed for heightened abilities to identify prey, recognize kin, choose mates, locate shelters, follow trails, and more.
Please help educate children and the general public on how beautiful and beneficial snakes are to our life-support system…thank you :-)
Location: Florida, USA