Spiked tongues? What's that about?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MichiganWoods, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    Wouldn't have given any thought to a chicken's tongue, but I snapped a picture last night that got me curious. I tried and tried to research online for in depth chicken anatomy, but darned if I can't find anything relating to their tongues.

    What are the spikes for? Not the pointy tip, but the spikes farther back in the mouth. Please forgive the graininess of the photo. This was cropped down from 100% of the actual size of the image.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking.
     
  2. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Very interesting !! Hmmm, you got me wondering now also !! Wonder if it has anything to do with smell ? <------ Kind of dumb guess but, who knows..... Guess i'll keep my eye on this post to find out.

    BTW - How did you ever get a pic like that ?
     
  3. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    A lot of critters have backward-pointing spikes on their tongues. My guess would be that they are to help keep live prey from escaping and to help them swallow-helps to push the food the right way.

    Those on the back of a fish's tongue can be a real pain when you are cleaning the fish-they even have them on the roof of their mouths!
     
  4. Hobbley_Farm

    Hobbley_Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Pilot Mountain, NC
    Rte.66_chicks :

    A lot of critters have backward-pointing spikes on their tongues. My guess would be that they are to help keep live prey from escaping and to help them swallow-helps to push the food the right way.

    I was thinking something like that. I thought maybe it would be to help push the food down their throat.​
     
  5. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    swtangel321, I take a lot of photos. [​IMG] I figure since I have a hard time inspecting these guys up close (they never like to sit still for me), the best way for me to see what's going on with them until we can make them comfortable with being held is for me to sit in the coop and snap a ton of photographs. I've seen some interesting things this way!

    I noticed that both the spikes on the back section of the tongue, and the single spike along the front seem to have a different color and texture than the center/pink part. There is a "seam", if you will, sort of dividing them. I wonder if the spikes have a hard layer on them... maybe a cartilage-like substance to enhance their functionality?

    Edited to add, I agree it could be about pushing the food back. My cats like to lick me all the time... that can be rough. But their little backwards spikes are tiny, and there are a lot of them. These just seemed to be quite large possibly only along the edge?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
  6. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Rte.66_chicks :

    A lot of critters have backward-pointing spikes on their tongues. My guess would be that they are to help keep live prey from escaping and to help them swallow-helps to push the food the right way.

    Those on the back of a fish's tongue can be a real pain when you are cleaning the fish-they even have them on the roof of their mouths!

    That makes since !!​
     
  7. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Quote:Wow, It's amazing how at that min when you took the pic the chick just so happend to have it's mouth open like that !! I'm sure you see lots of interesting things that way !!
     

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