This weird Cretaceous amphibian has the oldest-recorded ballistic tongue

A color-coded CT scan of the albanerpetontid specimen gives us hints at what this ancient creature looked like and how it’s sling-shot tongue works. (Edward Stanley/Florida Museum of Natural History/VGStudioMax3.4/) What has scales, claws, and looks like a lizard? Well, strangely enough, it seems one group of strange ancient amphibians did. While these animals, albanerpetontids […]

This tiny amphibian that outlived the dinosaurs provides the earliest example of a rapid-fire tongue

This rendering of the Yaksha perettii skull shows the extinct amphibian’s soft tissue and projectile tongue apparatus (in orange). Credit: Edward Stanley/Florida Museum of Natural History, Author provided Albanerpetontids, or “albies” for short, are the cute little salamander-like amphibians you’ve likely never heard of. Now extinct, Albies had a dream run. They’d been around since […]

Ancient amphibian is oldest known animal with a slingshot tongue

A tiny amphibian that lived 99 million years ago had a secret weapon: A tongue that shot out of its mouth like a bullet to snatch its prey. It’s the earliest known example of this “ballistic tongue” style of predation, researchers say. The amphibian is a new species, represented by a few tiny bits of […]