On the Tip of Your Tongue
Taste plays a major role in the perception of food and most of us would promptly agree that our tongue is primarily responsible for perceiving taste. However, the sense of smell is equally important as it drastically influences our sense of taste.
In the animal kingdom, the tongue serves far more interesting roles than just tasting. For instance, squids have rows of tiny sharp teeth on their tongue that can shred food, big cats like tigers and lions have numerous, barb-like structures on their tongue that can peel your flesh off with just a few licks. Explore more interesting facts about the tongue below:
Interesting Facts About Tongue
- You cannot see your taste buds, they are microscopic and rest atop the bumps on the tongue. These bumps are called papillae.
- Domestic house cats have numerous backwards-facing spines called papillae that help in cleaning and scraping dirt and debris off their fur. Big cats like tigers and lions also have the same structure, however, they are strong enough to scrape the flesh off bones.
- Snakes use its forked tongue to smell and identify chemical traces of its prey from the environment.
- The largest tongue in the animal kingdom belongs to the blue whale, with an estimated weight of over 2.7 tons.
- Chameleons use its prehensile tongue to catch prey and coincidently, it has one of the fastest tongues in the animal kingdom. Smaller species, such as the rosette-nosed chameleon have tongues that accelerate from 0 to 100kmph at 1/100th of a second!
- The giant squid has a beak-like structure for tearing and shredding food, inside this beak is a tongue-like organ called the radula. It has rows of small, sharp teeth that can ram bite-sized pieces of food inside the squid’s throat.
- The tongue-eating louse (an isopod) is a parasite that attaches itself to the tongues of various species of fish. The unusual part of this parasitic behaviour is that the lice essentially replaces the fish’s tongue by consuming it.
Explore more interesting facts about the tongue or other related concepts by visiting BYJU’S.