Clariz , asked a question
Subject: Biology , asked on 17/7/12

What are the parts of the human tongue and its function?

Umesh , added an answer, on 17/7/12
9 helpful votes in Biology

The average human tongue is 4 inches long. The average giraffe's tongue is 21 inches long! The human tongue is mainly made up of skeletal muscle with over 10,000 taste buds on the surface.


The tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth. The tongue is covered with moist, pink tissue called mucosa. Tiny bumps called papillae give the tongue its rough texture. Thousands of taste buds cover the surfaces of the papillae. Taste buds are collections of nerve-like cells that connect to nerves running into the brain.

It is part of the gastrointestinal (digestive) system. The tongue helps you to swallow, then peristaltic action propels food, now called a bolus, down the esophagus. 

PARTS OF TONGUE     There are five parts of the tongue and their names and functions are as follows:

  •   Papillae

The Papillae is situated on the upper side of  the tongue  and marked by its granular  projection . There are four types of papillae on  the tongue : Filiform, fungiform, foliate, and vallate. The papillae are where the taste buds are. They help us identify different tastes of food. The food comes in contact with the taste buds when the  saliva  breaks it down allowing the microvilli to carry a  message  to the brain regarding the taste. 

  • Tonsils

The tonsils filter germs. There are two types of tonsils: Lingual and palatine. Both help with filtering germs. 

  • Adenoids

Adenoids help fight  infection . These can swell up when a person is sick making it  hard to breathe , but they also help to fight  the disease

  • Frenulum linguae

The Frenulum linguae secure  the tongue  in place. It is the underside of  the tongue  that connects  the tongue  to the bottom part of the jaw. It is a thin strip of skin and muscle. 

  • Sulcus terminalis

The sulcus terminalis is the median of  the tongue . It is what divides  the tongue  into two halves. It is about 2.5 centimeters from the root. It runs laterally and forward on either side of the margin of  the tongue

The tongue  is where we will find our taste buds and it helps us chew. The mechanism does need to be cleaned in order to keep the mouth and the  teeth  clean

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