Giraffes use their 45-50 cm long prehensile tongue and the roof of their mouth to feed on a range of different plants and shoots, particularly species Senegal and Vachellia. What color is the tongue of giraffes?
If you’ve never been near a giraffe and wondered what color a giraffe’s tongue is, now you know that their 50 cm long tongues can appear in shades of purple, bluish or almost black.
This is due to the density of melanin pigments in them.
What color is the tongue of giraffes and why?
There is no absolute explanation for this, but the main theory is that the melanin provides additional protection against UV rays, preventing the tongues from getting sunburned during high-altitude feeding giraffes, explains Science Focus.
The plants that giraffes feed on have developed fierce defensive thorns, which is why the giraffe must use its tongue deftly to separate the nutritious leaves from the thorns.
What other tongue defense mechanisms does the giraffe have?
Fortunately, a giraffe’s tongue has thickened papillae, which help protect it from these thorns.
In addition, the thick saliva is thought to help protect the giraffe’s tongue and mouth against the defense mechanisms of their favorite food, they note Giraffe Conservation Foundation.