Chameleon tongue glue found, according to Science (AAAS) News 20 June 2016, and ABC News and ScienceDaily 21 June 2016. Chameleons are able to shoot out and extend their tongues at a very rapid rate in order to capture food. However, the tongue has to then hold onto the food as it is pulled back into the animal’s mouth – a movement that is almost as fast as the shooting out, and could easily drop the captured prey.
Various theories have been suggested for how the chameleon keeps hold of its food, including a suction effect or a sticky glue on the end of the tongue. It seems the sticky glue theory is right. When a group of scientists from France and Belgium tested the prey capturing ability of the chameleon tongue, they measured the viscosity of chameleon tongue mucus and found it is as thick and sticky as honey – about 400 times as thick as human saliva.
They concluded the ability to hold onto prey was a combination of extremely sticky mucus and the tongue being deformed to make a large surface area of contact with the prey. This enables the chameleon to hold onto prey that is up to 30% of its body weight.
Editorial Comment: Did you also know some chameleons use their strong sticky tongue for dislodging and holding onto berries, along with leaves and flowers? Not surprising really, as Genesis tells us that all creatures were originally plant eaters.
This is also a good example of how evolution cannot build a creature one step at a time, and keep it functioning through all the generations it would take to change a lizard with an ordinary tongue into a chameleon with a long fast acting extensible tongue tipped with ultra-sticky glue. Without the glue a slow or a rapid fire extensible tongue is of no use regardless of whether it eats fruit or insects. Being unable to hang onto its food is not going to change the genes that control the composition of saliva. It would simply result in the animal dying as it tried to catch food which would only drop off before the food got to its mouth.
Creation by a Designer who made the whole animal to function straight away is a much better explanation.
Chameleons today mostly eat insects, which are fairly light weight, so a tongue that can hold onto food up to 30% of its body weight seems like over-engineering since the insects are way below its maximum load, whereas fruit isn’t. In the original very good world that God created plant food was plentiful, nutritious and large. After the environment was devastated by Noah’s flood, God gave permission for people to eat meat, and animals, knowing what nutrients they needed to survive resorted to whatever they could catch. Chameleons could catch and eat insects only because they already had rapid fire tongues with premade strong glue. (Ref. diet, reptiles, biochemistry)
Evidence News vol. 16 No. 13
13 July 2016
Creation Research Australia