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An important player in your oral cavity is the tongue. It helps you in many ways every day—to eat, taste, speak, clean, whistle, and much more. It’s time you learned a little about it with some tongue trivia facts.

Did you know…
-On average, the human tongue from back to tip is around 4 inches. The animal that holds the record for longest tongue is the giraffe whose tongue measures around 18-20 inches long.

-As the main sensory organ for taste. You have around 3,000 to 10,000 taste buds (give or take), and each one contains between 50-100 tasting receptors. These help you to taste the five elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami (savory).

-Most people believe that the human tongue is one big muscle, but it is really made up of eight separate muscles classified as intrinsic or extrinsic. The four intrinsic muscles are not attached to any bone and they allow the tongue to change shape, such as point, roll, tuck etc., while the four extrinsic muscles are attached to bone and allow the tongue to change position, such as poke out, retract, side-to-side movement.

-The largest tongue belongs to the blue whale. It is nearly the size of an adult elephant and weighs around 5,400 pounds or 2.7 tons. The blue whale is also the largest animal that has ever lived upon the earth (or in the sea), and that includes the dinosaurs.

-The tongue is as unique as a fingerprint in that they all are different in shape, size, and number of taste buds.

-The bumps we can see on the tongue are called papillae. Taste buds sit on top of these papillae but are not visible to the human eye.

-Women have shorter tongues than men.

-It is considered rude and childish to stick your tongue out at somebody in most places, but in Tibet it is an acceptable greeting.

-Tongue is a popular and traditional food in some countries, including Mexico and China. People around the world regularly eat dishes made from the tongues of cow, pig, lamb, cod, and duck.

-Chameleons, frogs, and anteaters have specially designed tongues that catch prey.

-According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the most difficult tongue twister ever conceived is, “The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick.”

For more fun, come in to visit Dr. John Anderson and our helpful team at Anderson Pediatric Dental & Orthodontics, Inc. in a while. Phone: 801-774-5437 and make an appointment to come by our office in Roy, Utah.