Do Fish Have Tongues? the Surprising Question Answered!

do fish have tongues

Do fish have tongues? We all know that fish have tongues, but what does this organ do? Fish tongues are often misunderstood. Some people think they’re used for breathing, while others believe they help fishes taste their food.

In the age-old debate of whether or not fish have tongues, scientists say that, contrary to what many may believe, fish possess this anatomical structure. Though it is typically used for tasting and sensing things in the water, a fish’s tongue can also be helpful when it comes to locomotion.

The truth is that fish tongues play a vital role in the lives of these aquatic creatures. They help fish eat, breathe and communicate with each other. Read on to learn more about the surprising function of a fish’s tongue!

Do Fish Have Tongues? (Is the Fish Has a Tongue?)

The answer to this question may come as a surprise to some, but fish do have tongues! This might seem silly, but it’s one that scientists have debated for years. So, what exactly is a fish tongue? And what does it do?

What Are Fish Tongues?

A fish tongue is a long, fleshy organ attached to the mouth’s floor. This muscular tongues structure is used for tasting and sensing things in the water and locomotion.

Though they vary in size and shape, most fish tongues are small and thin. Fish have taste buds, which help the fish identify different types of food.

The tongue biters are also used for respiration. Fish use their tongues to pump water over their gills, which helps them extract oxygen from the water.

In some species of fish, the tongue is also used for communication. Fish use their tongues to make sounds that attract mates or warn other fish of danger.

Do All Fish Have Tongues?

No, not all fish have tongues. Some species of fish do not possess this anatomical bony structure.

It has a bony fishes structure called the basihyal located on the floor of the mouth that superficially resembles a tongue. But it doesn’t have taste buds, isn’t muscular, and has little range of motion, so it cannot directly translate to human sensation experience.

So, why do some fish not have tongues? It all comes down to evolution.

Some fish species, like sharks, have evolved not to need a tongue. These fish have gills that allow them to breathe without using a tongue.

Other fish, like eels and hagfishes, do not have tongues because they do not have jaws. These fish rely on suction to capture prey, so they do not need a tongue to help them eat. And they are replacing the tongue with jaws.

Finally, some fish, like lampreys, have lost their tongues during evolution. These fish have a toothed mouth to drill into the flesh of other fish, so they do not need a tongue to help them eat.

Can Fish Live Without Tongue?

Luckily, fish can survive without a tongue. There are many different types of fish, and they all have various adaptations that allow them to stay in their environments.

Some fish use their mouths to sort through gravel and debris to find food, while others use their gills to filter food from the water. Some fish even have specialized organs that detect movement or pressure changes in the water around them.

While a tongue is not necessary for survival, it can be helpful for some activities, like eating or cleaning_ off parasites.

Commonly Asked Questions About Fish with Tongues & Do Fish Have Tongues (FAQ)

Do Sharks Have Tongues?

Yes, sharks have a flexible tube-like organ known as their “basihyal” instead of traditional tongues.

Do Fish Tongues Taste?

Yes, fish tongues taste because they are covered in taste buds. These taste buds help the fish identify different types of food.

What Do Fish Tongues Look Like?

Fish tongues vary in size and shape, but most are small and thin. They are covered with taste buds; some have specialized organs that help them detect movement or pressure changes in the water around them.

Do Fish Have Ears?

No, fish do not have ears. They have a lateral line system that allows them to sense vibrations in the water around them. Fish are known to have ear parts inside their heads, but they do not project out like human ears.

Do Fish Have Teeth?

Yes, fish have teeth. These teeth vary in size and shape depending on the type of fish. Some fish use their teeth to chew food, while others use them to capture prey. Still, other fish have teeth used to decorate or intimidate other fish.

Do Fish Have Feelings?

Yes, fish have feelings. They react to pain and stress in similar ways to humans. Fish also have memories and can form relationships with other fish.

Do Molly Fish Have Tongues?

Yes, molly fish have tongues. These tongues are small and thin and covered with taste buds. The molly fish uses its tongue to help it identify different types of food.

Do Goldfish Have Tongues?

Goldfish don’t have tongues, so they rely on their tastebuds to sense food. These tastebuds are on the surface of their skin and their barbels. Goldfish use their mouths to suck in food and have a second set of jaws in their throat that helps them grind food.

What Do Fish Eat?

Fish eat a variety of things depending on the type of fish. Some fish are herbivores and eat algae, while others are carnivores and eat other fish. Still, others are omnivores and eat both plants and animals.

Do Cod Have Tongues?

The cod tongues are a type of flaky fish skin that is deep-fried and served with tartar sauce. It’s not really what you call “tongues,” but it has an extra flavor kick!

Do Whales Have Tongues?

Of course! Whales are no different than any other animal because they possess a tongue. All cetacean species – such as whale dolphins and porpoises- have been documented with this organ functioning properly inside their mouths or otherwise known “function of the tongue to taste.”

Do Catfish Have Tongues?

The catfish have taste buds all over their bodies, detecting food lurking in the water and capturing unsuspecting prey. They also use their barbels to taste the water and help them find food.

Do Trout Have Tongues?

Trout has a small, fleshy tongue that is covered in taste buds. These taste buds help the trout identify different types of food. The trout also use their barbels to taste the water and help them find food.

Do Betta Fish Have Tongues?

Betta Fish have tongues too! Unlike humans, fish’s tongue-like structures are located at the bottom of the mouth. They don’t use it for tasting food or anything like that–it just helps them close to the mouth and sense what kind of environment they’re in regarding taste and comfort level.


So, do fish have tongues? The answer to this question is, surprisingly, yes. Fish have tongues and use them for various tasks, including eating, breathing, and sensing their environment. While we may not think about it often, fish tongues are quite fascinating organs that play an essential role in the lives of these aquatic creatures. Thanks for reading!

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