What Animals Don't Have Tongues?

February 15, 2024

Tongues play many important roles for animals — from manipulating food to aiding taste perception. However, there are some animals that don't have tongues and still manage to survive and thrive. These fascinating creatures' unique structures and alternative ways of feeding are an example of the animal kingdom's remarkable adaptability.

In this article, we'll explore some of the most intriguing animals that can't stick their tongues out and what makes them different. We'll also explore some of the reasons why these animals can't stick out their tongues.

Some animals that cannot stick their tongues out include giraffes, zebrafish, bearded dragons, and blue-tongued skinks. The giraffes' long tongues, which can reach lengths of up to 20 inches, are covered with melanin pigments that protect them from the sun's harmful UV rays. Despite their impressive length, these tongues can't be extended outward because they're anchored in their throats.

While most mammals have tongues, some species of reptiles, birds, and amphibians don't. These species, such as hagfish and lampreys, rely on other body parts like their sharp teeth to manipulate food and taste. Similarly, birds such as pelicans lack tongues but can sense their prey by utilizing other body parts like their beaks and throat pouches.

Other animals that lack tongues are ant eaters and woodpeckers. These organisms use other parts of their bodies, such as their feet or ovipositors (the opening through which they lay eggs), to capture and consume their foods.


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