The tongue is one of the most amazing muscles and organs of the body. It is the only muscle we have that is attached at only one end. So it can move like no other muscle, and this is important for some of the work it has to do.
When we speak and produce a whole variety of different sounds, the tongue assumes a variety of forms and positions to enable us to make the sounds. Just say the alphabet slowly and notice the different positions of the tongue for the different letters.
The mucous membrane that covers the tongue plays a part in the taking, holding, and grinding of food. In fact, the surface of the tongue is like a combination of Craters, rolling pins, kneading boards, brushes, rakes, and points that act on food particles we take in.
The tongue is also One of the most delicate organs we have con- nected with the sense of touch. It is constantly telling us things, reportiqg on changes that take place in the mouth, and sending messages to the central nervous system about what we are eating and drinking.
Finally, of course, our taste buds are located on the tongue. The’ surface of the tongue is covered with little bumps that look like tiny warts. These are called “papillae”, and the taste buds are located in the walls of these papillae.
Man has about 3,000 taste buds. A cow has about 35,000, and a whale has few or none. The number depends on the taste needs of the animal. Man’s taste buds are able to register three different sensations: sweet, salt, and bitter. They may also register but this is possibly a combination of the other three.
Different parts of the tongue are sensitive to different tastes. The back is more sensitive to bitterness, the sides more sensitive to IO sour and salt, and the tip of the tongue picks up sweet tastes.
What Is Special About The Tongue?
Tongue muscles do have amazing stamina and are used constantly for eating, talking, and swallowing.