Woodpeckers are specialized drilling machines. Their skulls are heavily reinforced and their tiny brains are insulated against shock. But how do they get at their prey once the hole is finished? What keeps those delectable grubs and termites from crawling away as soon as they notice the giant hungry beak protruding into their nest? The answer: a prehensile, (up to) four or five inch long tongue. Unlike humans, woodpecker's tongues include cartilage and bone, not just muscle, and retract deep into the skull when not in use. They actually wrap around the brain cavity in a complex loop. These dexterous, thread-like apparatus are used to probe about in the cracks of the wood and wrap around prey to suck them back into the mouth. Some are also bristled, like a toilet brush, and most are quite sticky.
|...I'm not even going to try to explain this.|