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Darren Naish wrote:
> As for bird tongues being models for non-bird ones, I would guess that the
> generalised bird tongue _is_ a good model. Plenty of birds (nectivores and
> frugivores like lorikeets, honeyeaters and hummingbirds for example) have very
> odd tongues with special barbs and processes or of very long, extendible 
> design.
> Parrots in general are famous for their hyper-mobile, very powerful fleshy
> tongues. Woodpecker tongues parallel those of anteaters or pangolins and loop
> round the cranium with the root near the nostril! (pangolin tongues, BTW, root
> just in front of the *pelvis*!!) No need for those in other dinosaurs. Normal-
> looking (to us) tongues like those in ratites, wading birds and raptors I
> imagine to be like those of extinct dinosaurs: raptor tongues (well, 
> accipitrid
> tongues anyway) are quite stout and mobile with a bluntish tip. I suspect most
> theropods had a design of this type. Pointed tongues appear in birds with
> elongate skulls but relatively few non-bird dinosaurs are of this form so 
> maybe
> pointed tongues were rare amongst them.

Isn't it likely that birds' tongues have evolved to such an extent to
replace the missing manipulation digits they gave up in flying?   Bats
have some pretty wacky tongues amongst the pollen eaters, but the teeth
or ears or even noses tend to be wierder in bats then the tongues ever
Do non-arctic forms of flightless water birds (auks, Galopogus penguins,
etc) show different tongue examples from colder environ types since they
DON'T have to deal with the extreme cold?  
Would pterasaurs have mirrored the specialized tongues of birds or the
tongues of bats?  Or would it have been again, every type for itself?

> Heat sensor inside the mouth of a rattlesnake? What? ASAIK, snakes don't have
> any heat sensors inside the mouth. Heat-sensitive pits are sunk into the 
> labial
> scales (i.e. around the edge of the jaws) - they are especially noticeable in
> rattlesnakes (crotalines) and earn the family the alternative name 'pit 
> vipers'
> (that is, vipers with pits). Incidentally, for those who still can't 
> distinguish
> _Chondropython_ from _Coralla_, they do have different styles of pit
> configuration!

I'm sorry-you are of course quite correct and it's been a very long time
since I looked in the mouth (or even at the outside of the mouth) of a
           Betty Cunningham  
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