Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Animals with the Most Prolific Tongues

Animals with the Most Prolific Tongues

The tongue, the primary organ of taste, is a group of muscles that manipulates food for mastication. It also serves as a natural means of cleaning one's teeth. Some animals have unusual tongues.

Here’s a list of animals with bizarre tongues.

1.) Giraffe

Giraffe is a very popular animal for its stunning height and unique markings. As a matter of fact, it is the tallest land-dwelling animals and also holds the record for the longest neck in the world. Likewise, it also has the longest tail in proportion to body size.

Another notable characteristic of Giraffe is its tongue which is considered one of the toughest tongues in the world. The Giraffe feeds on leaves and twigs of trees, preferring Acacia trees in which some species are very thorny but Giraffe’s tongue and lips are tough enough to withstand the hardy thorns of this plant. Not only that, a Giraffe can clean off any bugs that appear on its face with its extremely long tongue which is about 45 centimeters.

2.) Snake

Yes, for sure, you’ve already seen a hissing snake. It’s quite a very scary experience if you ever experience that in reality. Snakes have unique tongues. Snake’s tongue is not used to taste its foods but use it to sniff prey. It uses its tongues to smell and track its victim. Its forked tongue is used to collect airborne particles that are then passed onto special organs in the mouth for analysis.

3.) Cat

I am pretty sure you have already felt the tongue of your pet cat. Their tongues are like sandpapers – they felt very rough. The tongue of cats is composed of rows of hooked, backward-facing spines called papillae. Cats use their tongues to clean their bodies because it can act like the bristles of a hairbrush.

4.) Blue Whale

As we all know, the Blue Whale is the largest of all living creatures in the world so naturally, many of its body parts are amongst the largest in the world. One of the most remarkable large body parts of the Blue Whale is its tongue which weighs about 2.7 tonnes or 3 short tons. That’s really huge! A Blue Whale’s tongue alone can already feed 150,000 people for dinner.

5.) Sea Urchin

One creature with the weirdest structure of tongue is the Sea Urchin. Sea Urchin’s mouth is made up of five calcium carbonate teeth or jaws, with a fleshy tongue-like structure within. Aristotle’s Lantern is the term for the entire chewing organ of Sea Urchin.

6.) Tube-lipped Nectar Bat

The Tube-lipped Nectar Bat is a unique flying creature from Ecuador with a lower lip that extends about 4.8 mm. It has the longest tongue, measuring about 8.5 cm in length, relative to its body size of any mammal. The amazingly long tongue of the Tube-lipped Nectar Bat is 150% the size of its overall body length. The Centropogon nigrican plant with 9 cm long corollas is pollinated by Tube-lopped Nectar Bat.

7.) Salamander

Salamanders are amongst the most powerful creatures on Earth. Some Salamander species can shoot their tongues out so fast that scientists suspect it can’t be done by the direct application of muscle power alone. The salamanders use their tongues to catch flying insects with accuracy. The Salamander’s amazing tongue is launch from its mouth like an arrow from a bow. The estimated maximum speed of a Salamander’s tongue ranges from 6 to 15.7 mps.

8.) Chameleon

Chameleons are among the most intriguing creatures in the world. These creatures are known for their ability to change color. Chameleons possess prehensile tongue designed for catching flying preys. Their extraordinary tongues are very long which usually measures twice the animals’ body length. They could hit their prey in about 30 thousandths of a second. The tongue of the chameleon is a complex arrangement of bone, muscle and sinew.

9.) Anteater

Chameleons have long tongues but Anteaters have extra long tongues. The Giant Anteater has a tongue which is about 60 cm or 2 ft in length. Anteaters coat their tongues with saliva during feeding allowing them to ensnare ants, and can rapidly flick their tongue from their mouth up to 150 times per minute.

10.) Frogs

Frogs are amongst the most diverse of all amphibians. There are hundreds of frog species. Frogs have peculiar tongues too. They have sticky tongues which they used to catch food like flies or other flying insects. In some animals, the tongue is combined with the teeth.

11.) Penguin

Penguins are not just the best swimmer amongst birds they also have a unique tongues which is spiny. The tongue is designed this way so that fish can't slip out of their mouth. Penguins are flightless bird of Antarctica.

12.) Flamingo

Have you seen a Flamingo? Flamingoes possess one of the most extraordinary tongues among animals. Their tongues are spiny just around the edges and serves like a strainer. They will take a big bite of muddy water and then lets everything drain out of its mouth except the seafood.

13.) Common Garden Snail

With the naked eye, snails appear to be toothless. Amazingly, Common Garden Snails holds the record for the “most toothed-tongue” - it has 135 rows of teeth. This is the reason why they do much damage to many plants and crops. 

14.) Forked Tongue

This lady on the picture has Tongue Bifurcation. This type of body modification is also called Tongue Splitting. I don’t understand why some people have to do this.

15.) Blue Tongue Skink

This skink is simply amazing. Why, it has blue-colored tongue. That’s it!

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