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1 February 2006 Light and Scanning Electron Microscopic Study of the Tongue in the Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (Phalacrocoracidae, Aves)
Hanna Jackowiak, Wojciech Andrzejewski, Szymon Godynicki
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Abstract

The tongue of the cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo is a small, immobile structure with a length of 1.4 cm, situated in the middle part of the elongated lower bill. The uniquely shaped tongue resembles a mushroom, with a short base and an elongated dorsal part with sharpened anterior and posterior tips. A median crest can be observed on the surface of the tongue. Examination by light and scanning electron microscopy revealed that the whole tongue is formed by a dense connective tissue with many bundles of elastic fibers. The lingual mucosa is covered by a multilayered keratinized epithelium. The thickest, horny layer of the lingual epithelium was observed on the surface of the median crest and on the posterior tip of the tongue. Lingual glands are absent in cormorants. The framework of the tongue is composed of a hyoid cartilage incorporated into the base. The localization and structure of the tongue in the cormorant show that it is a rudimentary organ and that the lingual body, usually well-developed in birds, is conserved.

Hanna Jackowiak, Wojciech Andrzejewski, and Szymon Godynicki "Light and Scanning Electron Microscopic Study of the Tongue in the Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (Phalacrocoracidae, Aves)," Zoological Science 23(2), 161-167, (1 February 2006). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.23.161
Received: 18 July 2005; Accepted: 1 November 2005; Published: 1 February 2006
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