Got it licked

Chameleons' tongues act as suction pads

source: Ian Sample
New Scientist October 21 2000 p24

Anthony Herrel is a researcher from Antwerp University, Belgium, who has studied the way that chameleons use their tongues. Chameleons can eat birds and lizards, which means their tongues have to work in a special way, for them to catch such large prey. Herrel's research was carried out with Northern Arizona University researchers, and involved filming feeding chameleons with high-speed cameras. He discovered that the end of a chameleon's tongue takes the shape of a suction pad, around two milliseconds prior to hitting its prey. After the tongue hits the prey, the tongue muscles contract, which pulls back the cup, and makes the suction effect stronger. Further information can be obtained from 'Journal of Experimental Biology', vol 203, p3255.