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Why do snakes have forked tongues?


The snake's forked tongue lets the snake use olfactory tropotaxis, which is the scientific term for directional smelling, just as we talked about recently with sharks. If one fork of the tongue picks up more scent than the other, the snake will turn towards the side with the most scent. This is important since snakes do not use their noses to smell. If the tongue was not forked, the distance from one side to the other would be so small that it would not provide enough information for tropotaxis.