Can you lick your nose? Only the animals with the longest tongues can give you an easy yes to that question. Nature is full of fascinating curiosities that make us wonder every day. Having long tongues is one of the things that not every living organism on earth is equipped with. That is why we are here to introduce you to these 7 animals with the longest tongues today. Some of them are the animals that we are familiar with while the others we aren’t so let’s check them out, shall we?
Length: 8.5 centimeters
Who would know that such a little bird has such long tongue? Their long tongue is so long is starts from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail if it is not coiled in their skull. Also, that long tongue is actually favorable for them when it comes to feeding. The tongue actually has long tubes inside that help the hummingbird to get its fill of nectar. This tiny bird can extend their long and skinny tongue twice as far as their bill to reach deep inside flowers. It is like a straw, but right inside the tongue if that makes sense.
Length: 20 – 25 centimeters
Sun bears’ tongues are very long, and that is favorable for them to get honey and insects inside the trees and other tight places. Apart from bees and honey, sun bears also feed on termites, ants, beetle larvae, and even fruits like figs. Their super long tongue allows them to slurp up tasty insects with ease while providing the title among animals with the longest tongues. Nowadays, these bears are facing threats from habitat loss and commercial hunting which decrease their population.
Length: Over 40 centimeters
Just like anteaters, pangolin also feed on ants and termites using their incredibly long tongues. These are the members of animals with the longest tongues, and an animal with cool hunting skills. Once they found the nest of their prey, pangolin uses its strong front legs and sharp front claws to rip the nest open. Then its long and sticky tongue lick up the insects and consume them as the meal of the day. Another great talent is that pangolin can close its ears and nostrils, while the thick eyelids protect the eyes from angry ants.
Length: Over 40 centimeters
Similar to anteaters, Tamandua does not have teeth to chew their food at all so their stomach grinds the food after it is swallowed. The thing is that these ant lovers have great mouth and tongue that let them eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day. Their sticky tongue has small barbs that can snatch up ants and termites fast and easy. Apart from ants and termites, Tamandua also enjoys licking honey and soft juicy fruits, and their long tongues are beneficial for that.
Length: 45 centimeters
Okapi aka Forest Giraffe is the closest relative to giraffes, and they are also among the animals with the longest tongues. At some point, people say that Okapi has longer tongue than the giraffe proportionately because giraffes are super tall. Their long tongues help them to pull leaves of tree limbs or wrap around leaves as they feed. At the same time, Okapi also uses their long tongues to groom themselves and their calves. Not to mention that their tongues are long enough for them to reach their eyelids and nose, no beings can beat that.
Length: 45 – 50 centimeters
Apart from being the animals with the longest necks, giraffes are also the animals with the longest tongues. Their tongues are not as long as their necks, but it’s quite long still. Actually, the nature are quite understanding for giving giraffes such long tongues. These long neckies love to eat acacia tree leaves, and those tasty leaves are protected by very sharp thorns.
But with long tongue and neck, and they can reach the highest and tastiest tree leaves with zero worries about the thorns. In case those long tongues get cut by a thorn, its extra thick saliva has antiseptic properties that help it to heal quickly. Also, the colors of giraffe’s tongue range from dark black to blue or purple which is super cool.
Length: 45 – 60 centimeters
Not being able to move fast is not a problem when you have a long tongue that can snatch food from the distance. Chameleon can stick their tongue out of their mouth very quickly and quite far as well. Also, the end of the tongue is a ball of muscle that pulls their insects back into the mouth very easily. The length of their tongues in some species is twice the length of their body, and that is even longer than giraffes’.
Length: 60 centimeters
Some species of anteaters don’t have teeth, but that is not a problem anyway. They have tongues that are long enough and strong enough to get food with zero effort. Anteaters have specialized tongues that allow them to eat up to 30,000 ants and termites each day. They slurp up ants with their sticky, noodle and bendy straw tongues, and they enjoy doing it. Meanwhile, their close relatives like armadillos have no such features; let’s consider that a birth gift from nature.