Generally tongue is known to show the sense of taste in persons while they eat, as well as control breath to produce the necessary sounds. However, there are various other functions of the tongue in several organisms.
Tongues are Split:
All of the snakes and a few of the lizards come with the tongues that appear as though something has cut them into two. It may be assumed that the stupid animal had licked on a sharp object and have had a cut. However, that is not the case of this evolution marvel.
Smell Using Tongue:
The snakes and some of the lizards can pick up smell through their tongues. The scents of the animals would be present on the ground, air and even water at times. The tips of these highly evolved tongues are designed to pick them up. Once these animals pick up the scents from the various media, and use their Jacobson’s organ on their top palate in the roof of their mouth to create a map as to what is the smell and where it comes from.
Direction of Sounds:
Split tongues work like two ears that would tell the direction of sound. When the person listens to some sound, the brain receives the signals from the ears. The brain can clearly tell that if the left ear receives more volume than the right ear, then the sound is from the left direction and the vice versa is also true.
Two is Double of One:
The same principle used by the brain to locate sounds received by two ears is used in the forked tongue as well, to tell the direction of scent easily. All that the animal needs to do is to locate the tip that receives higher magnitude of scent particles, which is the direction of the prey or its quarry, which could even be water source. If both edges receive the same amount of scent particles, then the animal would understand that the object of interest is straight ahead.
Life Saving Benefits:
While the primary use is to find out the prey and to understand what is happening around, this also allows the venomous snakes to track the prey that they have bitten, injected venom and released, as they are pretty confident to locate the corpse later on. This avoids injuries that may be sustained if the snake tries to subdue its prey, even losing one or both of its venom fangs to the struggling prey.
Therefore, the tongue is not just or organ to tell taste, but also to smell around and indicate of any dangers.