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  • 08 / 13 / 2007

A tongueless rooster

He who comes to Elio Vazquez's backyard in the eastern Cuban city of Las Tunas will see several poultry. But a red-feathered cock calls the attention of most neighbors. It is a specimen to which nature deprived of its tongue.

"About two years ago I bought some chicks. I soon noticed that one of them lagged behind. One day I observed it carefully and I realized that it ate only with its beak. When I checked it up I saw it didn't have a tongue," says the owner.

Most birds have tongues, though unlike ours. A bird's tongue has five 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 a human tongue. 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.

Source: By Robiel Antonio Proenza Hernande,


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