Functional morphology of the tongue in the domestic goose (Anser anser f. domestica)

Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2011 Sep;294(9):1574-84. doi: 10.1002/ar.21447. Epub 2011 Aug 9.


Using LM and SEM methods, the study describes microstructures in particular areas of the tongue of the goose. A thick multilayered keratinized epithelium forms the "lingual nail" and covers small and giant conical papillae, whereby the first functions as an exoskeleton of the tongue apex, and the latter are arranged along the lingual and well-developed connective tissue cores, and together with the bill lamellae are involved in cutting. The row of conical papillae on the lingual prominence prevents regurgitation of transported food. In the area of the "lingual nail" and in the anterior part of the lingual prominence, Herbst corpuscles are accumulated, which allow to recognize food position. Filiform papillae, as widely distributed between the conical papillae of the body, are responsible for filtering. They can be explained as long keratinized processes of the epithelium and are devoid of connective tissue cores. During food transport, the flattened areas of the lingual body and the lingual prominence are protected by a parakeratinized epithelium, but the root is covered by a nonkeratinized epithelium. The presence of adipose tissue in the tongue probably reduces pressure during food passage, but also promotes mucus evacuation from the lingual glands, thus facilitating food transport. An entoglossal bone with a continuation as cartilage is the stable structural basis of the tongue system.

Keywords: Herbst corpuscles; domestic goose; epithelium; lingual nail; lingual papillae; tongue.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Connective Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Epithelium / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Geese / anatomy & histology*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Tongue / anatomy & histology*