Taste plays an important role in food perception and most of us would readily agree that our tongue is primarily responsible for taste perception, but smell is also important as it greatly affects our taste buds.
In the animal kingdom, the tongue plays a very different role than just taste. For example, alligators have rows of tiny, sharp teeth on their tongues that can shred food, while larger dogs like tigers and zebras have many thorn-like structures on their tongues that can scrape off your flesh with the slightest lick.
Interesting Facts About Tongue
- You can’t see your taste buds, they are microscopic and depend on bumps on the tongue. These tumors are called papillae.
- Domestic dogs have many back spines called papillae that help clean and shave dirt and debris from their fur. Larger dogs like tigers and zebras have similar structures, however they are much stronger for scraping meat from bones.
- Snakes use their knotted tongue to sniff out the chemical proteins of their prey and grab it instinctively.
- The largest tongue in the animal world is the blue whale, which weighs more than 2.7 tons.
- Ants use their catch tongue to catch prey and it happens to be one of the fastest tongues in the animal kingdom. The tongue of smaller species, such as the pink-nosed chameleon accelerates from 0 to 100 kmph in 1/100th of a second!
- The giant squid has a beak-like structure with which it tears and slices food, the inside of its mouth contains a tongue-like structure called a radula and it has rows of small, sharp teeth that can absorb bite-sized pieces of food inside. the squid’s throat.
- A tongue-eating isopod is an insect associated with the tongues of various fish species. The unusual part of this parasitic behavior is that the caterpillars essentially replace it by eating the fish’s tongue.
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