Have you considered how a frog’s tongue, which functions very well to extend out and catch insects, might be involved or not in swallowing that just caught insect? It’s an interesting thing to consider.
Many of us have watched a toad hunting for insects or worms in our yards and gardens. The toad creeps along keeping an eye out for the next moving thing that will become its dinner. They see a cricket and almost too fast to perceive, they unfold and extend their long sticky fleshy tongue. It makes contact with the cricket and pulls it back to the toad’s mouth and the toad has caught this tasty morsel.
Now think about what is going on inside the toad’s mouth. The struggling cricket is stuck to a mucous covered tongue. That tongue has already performed the function it does best and is moving back into its resting place. Human tongues function well to move food around and push it down our throats when we’re ready. The toad tongue does not do that at all.
It’s time for the eyeballs to go to work. That toad lacks a sinus bone separating its eyeballs from the top of its mouth. The separation is instead soft. The instant the toad closes its mouth with the cricket inside, its eyes blink shut and they flatten on top of the head. Inside the mouth, the eyeballs push down and move the cricket down the throat to be swallowed.
That’s right. Frogs and toads use their eyeballs to swallow. Nature is amazing. I hope that next time you see a frog or toad on the hunt you’ll take some time to watch it and think about this bodily function as you see it catch that insect and smash its eyes shut until they are flat against its head. You’ll know just what’s going on!