Biomechanics of the Hyolingual System in Squamata

  • V. L. Bels
  • M. Chardon
  • K. V. Kardong
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 18)


The hyolingual system of Squamata is a highly versatile system used in different feeding, drinking, chemoreception, and social behaviors. In each of these activities, either the entire hyolingual system or one of its elements is used. For instance, in the majority of lizards, the tongue acts as the main element for liquid uptake, intraoral food and liquid transport, and in chemoreception, whereas the hyoid apparatus plays a major role during social interactions by acting on the ventral floor of the throat. In varanids, the hyoid apparatus is involved in both deglutition of foods and liquids, and during social displays.


Prey Capture Buccal Cavity Tongue Protrusion Garter Snake Tongue Flick 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. L. Bels
    • 1
  • M. Chardon
    • 2
  • K. V. Kardong
    • 3
  1. 1.Agronomic Centre of Applied ResearchesC.A.R.A.H.Belgium
  2. 2.Laboratory of Functional MorphologyUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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