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Bird Tongues!!

Guest Monique

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Guest Monique

The ice post made me curious about bird tongues ... trying to find out info on that I found what I thought was a really interesting article on bird tongues in general. What a topic for a Friday Morning!! :) Enjoy!!


Most birds have tongues, though unlike ours. A bird's tongue has 5 bones in it that support and strengthen it, together they are called the 'Hyoid apparatus'.


There is also a great deal of variation in bird tongues. A bird's tongue is generally harder and less flexible than ours. Most birds have a relatively simple tongue, a flat triangular blade in shape with a few backwardly pointing papillae at the back of the mouth which help to ensure food only goes in one direction. In some birds however the tongue has become highly evolved. In some fish-eating birds such as Penguins the whole tongue is covered in backwardly pointing spikes which help in swallowing the fish. In other fish-eating birds such as Cormorants, the tongue has been almost completely reduced.




Finally, in parrots the tongue has become thicker and more swollen - more like ours. This helps parrots to manipulate their food in their mouths, but it also makes it possible for them to make all the sounds that so endear them to us.


Article taken from:


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I enjoyed this information, because this was something I was going to research. When I spend time with Dayo, he communicates a lot with his tongue. I was curious about what he is doing, and why. I have come to understand that he is showing affection to us. He is so amazing to watch.


From what I have observed, Greys use their tongues quite a bit. I was wondering why, and what it means. Your article you shared with us here was interesting in explaining how the Grey's tongue works. How it's unique shape and texture aid the Grey is feeding, communicating, and playing. They are fascinating birds aren't they. I love my Grey!!


Thank you Monique for sharing such an interesting topic.


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In line with this great Topic on the Tongues. It inspired me to dig a little deeper on how the Tongue and other neccessary parts related to the speech capabilities of the African Grey.


Though this article is very scientific and a long read, I thought I would post the link to for those interested further in this:




Enjoy!! :-)

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Judy, can you use something better then a noodle? Tongue talking is very exciting and I can thank Monique for the thread.


If I put a smile on your face then we both win. If not, sorry for both of us.


Pal Joe


PS I think I should of gotton a KARMA FOR MY WIT.<br><br>Post edited by: nevjoe, at: 2007/09/10 06:12

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