Q:

Do birds have tongues?

A:

Quick Answer

Birds do have tongues. Oddly enough, the bird's tongue has a bone inside that makes it suitably tough for gathering food or litter for its nest.

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Do birds have tongues?
Credit: Daniel Garcia Neto Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Different birds have different types of tongues. Birds that drink nectar have tongues shaped like tubes for efficient extraction of liquids. Penguins have special barbed tongues that make it easier to swallow fish, while woodpeckers have long tongues with pointed ends to help them catch insects.

Unlike humans, whose tongues are used for tasting, a bird's sense of taste is not as developed. The tongue serves more as a sensory organ in birds, allowing them to feel objects rather than taste food.


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