Words with Webster: Tongue Spine
Welcome to this edition of Words with Webster, where today’s word is “tongue spine.” (Yes, I know that's technically two words. Just go with it.) We are learning about tongue spines today because last week the Caternet was all abuzz over the news that some scientists had discovered how we cats get ourselves clean with our tongues. (Spoiler alert: We lick our fur. Duh!)
|Check out those tongue spines! They're helping this cat|
clean herself, and they might lead to better design for
human products like hairbrushes.
Stock photo by Pavla Kulhava, via Adobe Stock.
If you’ve ever been licked by a cat, it will come as no surprise to you that we cats have spines on our tongues. But nobody (except us, of course) really knew how the spines worked. It took a mechanical engineer seeing a poor cat get his tongue stuck on a blanket (note to self: do not lick blankets!) to figure it all out. Then came the high-speed cameras and the giant 3-D cat tongue model. (Scientists are basically weird people.) Turns out cats’ tongue spines are like little hooks that can rotate. So if a cat runs into a tangle while she’s licking herself, the spines basically latch into it and help her tease it apart.
This new knowledge of cats’ tongue spines could help with human grooming, by eventually leading to a better hairbrush. That is all in the future, but still, next time you brush your hair, think, “Tongue spine!”
You can learn more about this story on LiveScience.
And now to Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. They are a fun way to learn a little bit about the authors of the blogs you read. The first two questions are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader. Old SoLT answered all the questions this week because Real Cat Webster is walking around just saying “tongue spine” over and over, and Real Cat Paisley is asleep.
1. I have a hard time finding a gift for our dog, Layla, because doesn’t like toys. This will be her first Christmas with us, and we’re really not sure what to get her. Ideas are welcome!
2. I have no problem finding a gift for my mother, I guess because I’ve known her for almost 50 years, so I’ve pretty much figured out what she likes.
3. One of the best gifts I ever gave was a lantern I had that I gave to a friend as a housewarming gift when she bought her house. She’d admired it in my apartment once, and so it seemed like the perfect gift. I really liked that lantern, so it was kind of hard to part with it though!
4. One of the best gifts I ever received was a Kitchen-Aid food processor. I’ve had it almost a year now, and I still get excited whenever I get to use it, because it’s just so much fun. There are always giggling and sound effects involved. WHOOSH!