Tongue Projection Biomechanics
The figure below depicts the tongue apparatus of Hydromantes. The tongue skeleton (black) is launched entirely from the body by the elongated tongue protractor muscles. Current research in our lab has revealed that these muscles contain elastic tissues that recoil rapidly to launch the tongue, analogous to a bow and arrow. Other ballistic-tongued salamanders, such as Eurycea and Bolitoglossa, use a similar mechanism.