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How Cats Can Stay Clean Thanks to their Rough Tongue?
We know all cats love to lick their fur and cats spend a quarter of the day just licking their fur. Researchers have finally figured out how a cat's rough tongue can help the animal stay clean. It turns out that cats' tongues have many hooks that can carry cat's saliva into their fur.
According to the researchers, these findings could bring new innovations to many people. The cat's tongue can help us to give fluids, or clean carpets, or give medicine to a skin or furry surface.
Cats are clean animals, they spend about a quarter of their time combing their fur. Researchers previously suspected that cats tongues were filled with tiny cone-shaped bumps. But it turns out that a study by researchers found that a cat's tongue was filled with many hooks shaped like claws.
Usually these hooks are flat and facing backwards. New hooks appear when the tongue muscles begin to twitch. Uniquely, researchers found that this hook also had an empty hole. They also found the same thing when studying other animals, such as leopards, lions, and tigers.
They then performed the test by dripping a drop of food coloring onto the preserved cat papillae. Researchers found that the tongue absorbs liquid food coloring.
Papillae are small bumps that are scattered on the surface of the tongue. Domestic cats have about 300 papillae and each papilla stores a small amount of saliva that comes out when the tongue comes into contact with fur.
Stored saliva contains enzymes that can dissolve blood and other contaminants. When the saliva evaporates, it also instantly cools the skin.
The researchers also added that in the absence of these voids, the saliva on the cat's tongue would only wet the top of the fur and not touch the fur on the bottom. In addition, the papillae also help the cat to correct the entangled fur.
Researchers have also made combs based on the structure of a cat's tongue. The comb is called tongue-inspired grooming and is found to be easier to use and clean than a regular human hair comb.