Drinking out of a bowl using just your tongue is bound to be a messy affair. That’s because, as any dog knows, successfully lapping up a cooling drink involves some tricky tongue-twisting that practically guarantees a spill.

To drink, a dog starts by rapidly shooting its tongue into water. It uses momentum to lift the water to its mouth, with the tongue folded into a ladle-like scoop. The momentum folds the sides of the tongue backwards around water to enable it to be lifted into the mouth.

Watch the video above to see, in slow motion, a German Shepherd drinking water.

Image and video credit: Oxford Scientific Films (2013)