Last night as part of our New Year celebrations, we had a visitor with us from Australia, Rosemary.
At some stage the conversation turned to snakes!
During this John commented on why snakes flick their tongues in and out.
He told us that they do this to collect scent particles which they then bring back into their mouths and via the sensors on the roof of their mouths identify what the scent is coming from eg bird, mouse, insect.
Extra Info From Me
The sensory organ is called the Jacobson’s organ. The snake’s forked tongue with the scent particles fits into the two holes in the Jacobson’s organ, which is also known as the vomeronasal organ. The receptors then send messages to the snake’s brain which interprets what sort of organism/animal the scent is coming from.