The distribution of taste buds was examined in hamsters to reveal the sources of convergent neural activity on taste neurons of the medulla and pons. A total of 723 taste buds was found in adult animals. Fungiform papillae contained 130 taste buds (18%). A single vallate papilla had 168 taste buds (23%). There were 230 taste buds (32%) located on bilateral foliate papillae. The palate contained 100 taste buds (14%) divided among the soft palate (88, 12%) and the incisal papilla (12, 2%). On the epiglottis and adjacent region of the esophagus were found 70 taste buds (10%). About 10 taste buds each were located on the buccal wall (1.4%), while the remaining 5 taste buds were found on the sublingual organ. Conclusions about information processing in central neurons of the gustatory system must reflect knowledge of diverse receptor populations and their interactions.