Every animal is unique in it's own way, but one trait that is often over looked is an animals tongue. Check out these unique animal tongues that will make you question mysteries of the animal kingdom
Cheetah's although a member of a feline family have a very unusual tongue. (as seen below)
The spiky hair-like pigments you are witnessing are called papillae.Papillae are composed of a substance called keratin. Keratin is the same substance that make up human hair and nails.You might think the main purpose of the papillae is solely to help clean a cheetah's fur... well it doesn't just end there These papillae act as mini claws for the cheetah's tongue, so it can utilize every bit of meat a cheetah is consuming from a carcass. The papillae also aid in removing any sort of hair or feathers from its prey.
2. Alligator Snapping Turtle
Despite the alligators snapping turtle's menacing looks and furious display of strength. An alligator snapping turtle's tongue is very tiny in it's size. Almost identical in resembling that of a caterpillar or earthworm. With the alligator snapping turtle's earthy appearance, it's easy for the turtle to blend in with it's surroundings and use its tongue to it's advantage! The alligator snapping turtle uses it's tongue as bait just as a fisherman would use bait on a hook. The alligator snapping turtle simply finds a cozy spot to blend in with, opens it's mouth and waits patiently to catch it's prey.
Reptiles, particularly lizards are known for having long stretchy and odd tongues. The chameleon takes the prize on this matter, with it's tongue stretching more then twice its body length. The chameleon's tongue can also lunge out at it's prey in a matter of milliseconds. The chameleons tongue is hollow and attached to the back of their mouth via the hyoid bone. The main trick behind catching it's prey is it's sticky saliva which is located at the tip of the tongue.
Giraffes are known for having a very long and bizarre looking tongue. But, just as all animals in the animal kingdom, it has a very unique purpose. The long length of a giraffe's tongue is used mainly to reach high areas particularly in trees so it can get as many leaves as needed. Giraffes are herbivores meaning they can only consume plant based food. The length of the tongue also allows for a giraffe's tongue to navigate and avoid thorny or prickly areas of a tree. Also, a giraffes tongue is covered in a thick saliva that is said to contain antiseptic properties. The saliva acts as a means of healing the giraffe's tongue in case of an event that it is cut by any thorns. The dark color of a giraffes tongue also protects the tongue from any sort of sun damage, considering it's face is always facing the sun when consuming leaves.
You may have always wondered why it is a snakes tongue is constantly shifting in and out of it's mouth repetitively. Also, why is it 2 pronged or split in 2? Oddly enough, a snakes tongue acts more as a nose rather then a tool for taste buds. A snakes tongue can pick up on tiny chemical particles in the air, which can alert the snake of potential prey or predators. The snakes two pronged tongue allows for the snake to smell in 2 separate directions.
6. Blue Whale
It is no surprise that blue whale has the largest and heaviest of all the tongues in the animal kingdom. A whales tongue is estimated to weigh around 2.7 tons. Just as the cheetah a whale has keratin on it's tongue, with the purpose of filtering out any non consumable content in the water that surrounds it.
Salamanders just as the chameleon have a long protruding tongue which it utilizes to capture it's prey. The main difference being the amount of force a salamanders tongue has compared to most reptilians. Salamanders tongues are considered to be the most ballistic compared to all animals in the animal kingdom. With a recorded power of 18,000 watts of power per kilogram of muscle, that tongue sure packs a punch!
Hummingbirds are of the swiftest of birds, being able to fly in multiple directions with ease. Not only are they fast, but they also have a very unique tongue. Hummingbirds tongue allow them to extract nectar from flowers, simply by rapidly changing the shape of it's tongue acting as a straw.
The woodpecker's tongue has one of the uniquest placements on the body compared to any other animal. A woodpeckers tongue is attached from the front of the skull and is then wrapped all the way around to the woodpeckers beak. The woodpeckers tongue acts sort of as a shock absorbed to protect itself when pecking away.
An Anteaters tongue over a foot long and it's most effective trait when it comes to catching it's prey. That is of course with the aid of it's long snout. Anteaters use it's long snout and tongue to get into hard to reach spots, and in turn get to those yummy ants that they desire.
12. Blue tongue Skink
The blue tongue skink is a lizard with Australian origin and has the coolest tongue of all the lizards The main purpose of the blue tongue is to scare off it's prey with it's unique and bright colors