Researchers have known for a while that our tongues (as well as our guts, skin, belly button, and every other crevice of our bods) are teeming with microbes. By taking swab samples, we’ve even been able to get to know the exact species that live on and among us. But until now, we haven’t been able to see how all those species interact with each other in real time. Just like other ecosystems on earth, like a coral reef, a rainforest, or even a tiny stream, the conglomerate of species all find their own niches and work together to thrive within the same space. As the above photos reveals, the same can be said for your tongue.