Do Fish Have Tongues? Stupendous Facts!

Fish are a diverse group of aquatic animals that inhabit nearly all aquatic ecosystems in the world. But, Do Fish Have Tongues? The majority of fish have fins and gills, allowing them to swim in water.

Fish are vertebrates. Fish are also unique because they are an example of evolutionary adaptation. These adaptations allow fish to survive in habitats as varied as rivers and lakes to oceans and deep-sea trenches.

While many people ask about fish having tongue, you will be surprised to know certain facts about fish in this regard.

It seems like a simple question, but the answer is surprisingly complex—and not just because of the number of different kinds of fish that exist in our oceans. Let’s take a look at if fish have tongues in this article.

Do Fish Have Tongues? Stupendous Facts!

Do Fish Have Tongues?

Fish do have tongues. But they’re not like human tongues.

Fish don’t have the same kind of tongue we do, for starters: instead of being attached to their mouth, it folds in the floor of their mouths. And if you’re wondering what that means for things like taste and smell, we’ll get to that in a minute…

But first: teeth on a tongue?

Yes! Some fish have teeth on their tongues (which is pretty cool). Some rare species of fish have teeth on their tongues. The teeth can help them break down food before it enters their stomachs, and also give them an advantage when it comes to hunting prey or fighting off predators.

Unlike our tongues, which sit at the top of our mouths and are covered in taste buds, fish tongues are way different. Instead, they function to help push food into their mouths.

Fish also don’t have the same saliva glands as humans, so they can’t taste things like we do. Rather than using taste buds to detect flavor and other qualities of food, they use their sense of smell. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073

What Is the Tongue Of The Fish Called?

The tongue of a fish is called the basihyal. It has no taste buds, and it has a limited range of motion.

Its main function is to protect the ventral aorta, which is the blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the gills to other parts of the fish’s body.

The basihyal, also known as the tongue of the fish, is a bone in the throat. It also assists in swallowing. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073

What Is The Structure Of The Tongue In Fish?

The Basihyal is a U-shaped bone in the throat of fish that helps them push food to the back of their mouths.

It’s located at the bottom of their mouth, and it has very few muscles attached to it. It’s also a barrier to the ventral aorta and protects it from harm.

The basihyal evolved over time to help fish push food farther back into their throats, which was necessary for them to swallow larger prey items.

The basihyal is a part of the ventral floor of the mouth. It’s not a muscle, but it does have a few muscles attached to it.

It’s also a barrier to the ventral aorta and protects it from getting clogged with food debris. The Basihyal does not have taste buds. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073

Why Do Fish Have Tongues?

One of the most common questions people ask about fish is why they have tongues. After all, it’s not like they can talk—so why would they need a tongue?

The answer is pretty simple: to push food into their mouths and then move it to the back of their throats so it can be swallowed. Fish also use their tongues to move oxygenated water through their gills and breathe.

However, some fish have teeth on their tongues so they can eat harder-to-digest prey. The main and known function is providing protection to ventral aorta.

Fish have tongues to help them do a variety of things. Most importantly, it is a part that has evolved in fish over time. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073

How Do Fish Taste Without Taste Buds On The Tongue?

How Do Fish Taste Without Taste Buds On The Tongue?

It’s a common misconception in the world of fish that their sense of taste comes from their tongue.

But, as it turns out, fish do have tongues but without taste buds! However, they have taste buds in their mouths on the skin.

Fish can taste food when it’s inside the mouth because their taste buds are actually in the mouth. Imagine not being able to taste with your tongue. Impossible! Nature is different.

So how do fish taste without taste buds on the tongue? They don’t need to! All around the mouth there are lots of tiny bumps called papillae (say: pah-puh-LYE).

These bumps contain cells that contain receptors for detecting sweetness, bitterness, saltiness, sourness and umami (savoriness).

Once food enters a fish’s mouth, these cells send signals to its brain telling it what taste it is. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073

Do All Fish Have Tongues?

Do all fish have tongues? Most fish do have tongues, but some rare ones don’t.

Tongues are some of the parts that we don’t often think about. They’re not as colorful or flashy as other parts of the body, like eyes or wings. But they’re just as important—maybe more so—because they help animals eat!

Most fish have tongues, but there are some that don’t—and they survive just fine without them. These rare fish don’t have any kind of organ that works like a tongue, either soft or hard. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073

What Is The Difference Between Mammal Tongues And Fish Tongues?

Well, it’s not just that one is bony and one is muscular. That’s just part of it. Here are some other key differences:

Fish tongue has a bone in it, while mammal tongue is a muscular organ.

Fish tongue pushes food to back of mouth, while mammal tongue helps taste and suck.

Fish tongue helps move oxygenated water through gills, while mammal tongues taste.

Fish tongue is a bony organ that pushes food into the back of the mouth, where it can be swallowed.

Mammal tongues are muscular organs that help taste, suck, and move food around.

They also help mammals taste their food. Mainly, the tongue in mammals does not protect the ventral aorta in any way. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073

Can Fish Survive Without A Tongue?

Can fish survive without a tongue? The short answer is yes, they can.

But that’s not the only question we should be asking when it comes to our aquatic friends. Some species of fish have developed a mechanism that allows them to eat without having a tongue.

The modified pharynx that acts as a sort of “tongue” for the fish. This is called an epibranchial organ and it’s found in several varieties of fish, including tuna, salmon, and even eels.

Others can develop problems without a tongue. Since ventral aorta remains unprotected when there’s no tongue, it’s more susceptible to problems. But that does not mean it is impossible to live without a tongue. It will all remain a matter of speculation. gif maker 2022 10 08T210633.073


Fish have a tongue, but it’s not like the human tongue. Fish don’t have taste buds on their tongues, but nevertheless they do have a tongue called the Basihyal. The functions and the structure are different but the answer to the question is yes. gif maker 2023 04 22T201514.431

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