How do woodpeckers extract grubs with their tongues? A study of the Guadeloupe woodpecker (Melanerpes herminieri) in the French West Indies

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Date: Apr. 2004
From: The Auk(Vol. 121, Issue 2)
Publisher: American Ornithologists' Union
Document Type: Author abstract
Length: 70 words

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Abstract :

We held an adult Guadeloupe Woodpecker (Melanerpes herminieri) in captivity for two weeks and documented its tongue movements as it caught grubs placed into holes that had been excavated out of a log. We provide evidence that the Guadeloupe Woodpecker does not spear grubs with its tongue but instead grabs them with the tongue's horny tip, which is barbed and coated with saliva, and pulls them out of the holes.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A118417422