Look at your cat’s tongue and it’s more remarkable than you might think. While you might think a cat’s tongue exists only to stick out at you when the cat is defying your wishes, scientists have found the tongues or cats to resemble Velcro.

Scientists believe a cat’s tongue is designed first and foremost to untangle hair while the cat grooms itself. “When the cat’s tongue hits a snag, it pulls on the hooks, which rotate to penetrate the snag even further,” Alexis Noel, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, said. “Like a heat-seeking missile for snags, the hook’s mobility allows the cat to better tease tangles apart.”

So there’s more to a cat’s tongue than just a wet, slimy organ. A cat’s tongue has specializes uses beyond just defying you.

To read more about the structure of a cat’s tongue, click here.

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