Mighty muscles help chameleons grab a quick bite

Chameleons have supercontracting tongue muscles

source: New Scientist October 13 2001 p27

Northern Arizona researchers have found supercontracting muscles in chameleons’ tongues, unknown in other species. These muscles mean that chameleons can exert maximal force, allowing them to reel in prey they have caught, even large prey like birds, and even when the chameleons’ tongues are extended to their full length. This research is described in The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol 204, p3621.