October 6, 2011 in Fun Facts
The sticky and slimy properties of molecules are involved in many natural phenomenons.
Animals and plants, both can secrete viscous substances known as mucus. Mucus may act as a glue and a lubricant at the same time! Human and animal mucus is usually a “glycoprotein,” in other words a protein, such as the ones you eat, which is attached to complex carbohydrates (sugars and starches) often called ‘mucopolysaccharides’. Such mucus coats and protects different body parts such as the lungs and stomach. Snails, slugs, hagfish and some other creatures also produce external mucus. Such mucus has a protective function against infectious agents, toxins and predators. Mucus can also facilitate movement and communication.
Here are some examples of what we can find in nature!