How a Cat’s Sandpapery Tongue Deep Cleans
Cat lovers know that the animals spend a lot of time cleaning themselves. Cats use their tongues to remove dirt from their fur and smooth out their hair.
Scientists are now learning how the rough, sandpaper-like surface of cats' tongues helps the animals get clean and stay cool.
The secret: small hooks that stand up on the tongue — with scoops, small rounded areas, built in to carry saliva deep into all that hair.
A team of mechanical engineers reported the findings this month. They said their discoveries are more than unusual, and could lead to inventions for people.
A cat's tongue could help people put liquids or medicine on hairy skin, said lead researcher Alexis Noel of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Noel is seeking property rights for a three-dimensional printed tool that acts like the tongue.
Cats spend up to 25 percent of their waking hours cleaning themselves. Noel said she became interested in the subject when her cat, Murphy, struggled to free his tongue from a soft blanket. Scientists had always thought that the tongue was rough because it had small, uneven bumps. Noel wondered why.
First, computed tomography (CT) images of cats' tongues showed they are not raised areas, but small hooks with scoops at the end. The hooks are flat, but when cats need them for self-cleaning, they stand up, Noel explains. The scientific name for them is papillae.
The Georgia Tech researcher found that the papillae take in liquid. A housecat has nearly 300 papillae that hold a small amount of saliva that is released when the tongue presses on fur.
Noel saw evidence that the papillae helped the animals stay extra clean.
Next she examined the tongues of other cats in the species, like lions.
Papillae were only a little longer in lions than in cats, noted Noel and David Hu, an associate professor at Georgia Tech. Their findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Next, Noel measured cat fur, which holds a lot of air to keep the animal warm. When the fur is pushed down flat against the cat's skin, the distance is the same as the length of the papillae, she discovered. The one exception was the fur of long-haired Persian cats.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.stand up 站立
I tried to stand up, but I was completely exhausted.
2.keep warm 保暖；保温
I spent much of my time bundled up in sweaters in an effort to keep warm.
3.a lot of 大量的
I think a lot of people still underestimate him.
4.push down 下推
The government had done everything it could to push down inflation.
5.A team of mechanical engineers reported the findings this month.
A team of 一队
He has assembled a team of experts to handle queries.
A team of four was sent to scout for a nuclear test site.
6.First, computed tomography (CT) images of cats' tongues showed they are not raised areas, but small hooks with scoops at the end.
at the end 最后，末尾
You will have the chance to ask questions at the end.
But they served it at the end.
喜欢猫的人都知道这种动物会花很多时间来清理自己 。猫会用舌头清洁皮毛的污垢，理顺毛发 。
一个机械工程师团队本月在报告了这一发现 。他们说，这一发现不但不同寻常，而且可以激发人类创造新发明 。
乔治亚理工学院的首席研究员亚历克西斯·诺埃尔（Alexis Noel）说，猫的舌头可以帮助人们在多毛的皮肤部位涂抹液体或药物 。诺埃尔正在为一种类似于这种舌头的三维打印工具寻求产权 。
猫在清醒状态下会用25%的时间来清理自己 。诺埃尔说，当初看到她的猫墨菲千方百计地把舌头从柔软的毯子里拽出来，她对这个话题开始产生兴趣 。科学家们一直认为猫的舌头粗糙是因为小而不均匀的凸起物 。诺埃尔想知道这个原因 。
首先，计算机断层扫描（CT）显示，猫的舌头并没有凸起物，但是有小钩子，末端还呈圆勺状 。诺埃尔解释称，钩子平时是平的，只有当猫需要进行自我清洁时，钩子就会倒卷起来 。它们的学名是乳突 。
乔治亚理工学院的研究人员发现，乳突会吸收液体 。家猫拥有近300个乳突，乳突里含少量唾液，当舌头挤压皮毛时，唾液会被释放出来 。
乔治亚理工学院副教授诺埃尔和大卫·胡表示，狮子的乳突只比猫长一点点 。他们的研究发现发表在了《美国国家科学院院刊》上 。
随后，诺埃尔测量了猫的皮毛，猫的皮毛可以储存大量的空气，进而使动物保持温暖 。她发现，当猫的皮毛被理顺到皮肤上时，皮毛到皮肤的距离与乳突长度相等 。只有长毛猫波斯猫的皮毛是例外 。