Sticking the tongue out might seem like child’s play, but for chameleons, it’s a matter of survival.

The color-changing reptiles famously flick their long, sticky tongues to catch insects unawares.

Now, a new study reveals that the tongues of chameleons—particularly the smallest species—can move faster and with more power than anyone thought.

The secret to the chameleon’s success, the researchers found, is special elastic tissue in their tongues, which they keep folded up like an accordion.

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