Avian Taste Buds: Topography, Structure and Function

  • H. Berkhoudt


An overwhelming range of special foraging and feeding techniques have evolved in birds. Generally, these adaptations are reflected in the external anatomy of the bill, their main manipulative tool. Such adaptations can also be seen in certain inner oropharyngeal structures, including the tongue which, in many birds, has a key-role in the prehension and transport of food (for a review of bill and tongue adaptations, see McLelland, 1979). It was already clear to the first investigators of avian taste buds that the topographic distribution of such buds shows a strong correlation with the feeding techniques employed and, thus, with anatomical details of the oropharynx.


Filter Feeding Anterior Tongue Feeding Technique Carrion Crow Posterior Tongue 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Berkhoudt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurobehavioral Morphology Zoological LaboratoryUniversity of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands

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