Record Details

Burghardt, Gordon M;Allen, Barbara A;Frank, Hannah
Exploratory tongue flicking by green iguanas in laboratory and field
Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 4
Book Section
David Duvall, Dietland Müller-Schwarze, and Robert M Silverstein
Plenum Press
New York and London
Iguana iguana
Tongue flicking (rapid tongue extrusion) is an integral component of the behavior of all snakes and many lizards (Gove, 1979; Simon, 1983). Such tongue flicking has been related to vomeronasal functioning in many snakes (e.g., Burghardt, 1970, 1980; Gillingham and Clark, 1981; Halpern and Kubie, 1981, 1983; Kubie and Halpern, 1979; Meredith and Burghardt, 1979; Chiszar, 1981; Graves and Duvall, 1985 and others). However, in lizards direct experimental evidence for vomeronasal involvement is sparse. Indeed a recent persuasive case has been made for taste being the function of much lizard tongue flicking, especially when contact with objects occurs (Schwenk, 1985). Lizards do often have well-developed taste buds on the tongue while no species of snake has been documented to have lingual taste buds. Surgical studies (c.f., Hammerman and Thomas, 1967) eliminating gustation in lizards may eventually be necessary.