American Oceans

Do Sharks Have Tongues?

Sharks do have tongues, but they are not like the tongues of humans or other mammals. Sharks belong to a group of animals known as cartilaginous fish, which also includes rays and skates.

Unlike mammals, which have bones, cartilaginous fish have skeletons made of cartilage, a type of flexible connective tissue.

Great white shark breaching the surface with mouth open

In sharks, the tongue is a small, flattened structure that is attached to the floor of the mouth. It is made of cartilage, just like the rest of the shark’s skeleton, and it is covered with tiny, tooth-like structures known as papillae. These papillae help the shark to grip and manipulate food in its mouth.

Unlike the tongues of humans and other mammals, which are used for tasting, sharks use their tongues mainly for feeding and swallowing.

The tongue is not used for taste, as sharks have specialized sensory organs known as lateral lines that allow them to detect the presence of prey in the water.

Sharks also have a different type of taste bud than mammals. While mammals have taste buds on the surface of their tongue, sharks have them on the inside of their mouth.

This allows them to taste their food as they swallow it, rather than while they are chewing it.

shark mouth and tingue

Despite their differences, the tongues of sharks do serve some of the same functions as the tongues of mammals. For example, both sharks and mammals use their tongues to manipulate food in their mouths and to help them swallow.

However, the differences in their anatomy and physiology mean that the tongues of sharks and mammals serve these functions in different ways.

Overall, sharks do have tongues, but they are not like the tongues of humans or other mammals. Sharks use their tongues mainly for feeding and swallowing, and they do not use them for taste in the same way that mammals do.

Despite their differences, the tongues of sharks serve some of the same functions as the tongues of mammals, but they do so in different ways due to their unique anatomy and physiology.

Add comment