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The study aimed to describe the morphology of the starling tongue, as well as its histological structures. The tongue was elongated triangular in shape locating the lower part of the beak cavity, between upper and lower beak. The tongue has two surfaces, dorsal and ventral, and two borders, lateral and medial. The dorsal face was divided into three regions, apex (tip), body, and root. The frontal portion of the dorsal face was included the median groove which it is ends the tongue body. The lingual papillae were presented on the dorsal view of the tongue only. There are conical lingual papillae found between body and root, which lie inside the concave transverse row V-shape. The study showed a variety of lingual papillae whence the location, size, and shape. Where the pharyngeal papillae are closed from the laryngeal cleft. The histological structure showed the mucosa of the tongue formed by the stratified squamous epithelia keratinize which lined the lateral border of the dorsal surface, while the medial border was lined by non-keratinize stratified squamous epithelia. The ratio of keratin thickness is less toward the antero-posterior end until the tongue. Lingual salivary glands are included in two groups, anterior and posterior under epithelia layer. These glands were characterized by aggregations that increase toward the lingual root. The secretory units of glands were characteristic of a tubuloalveolar type and their ducts open toward the dorsal surface directly. These glands consist of a group of mucous cells characterized tall columnar with basal nuclei in position. In a histochemical reaction by periodic acid Schiff stain with mucous secretion of these cells showed negative reaction. The lingual muscles were observed to represent the circular axis at the root region.


Tongue Starling Lingual glands Histology Morphology

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How to Cite
AL-TAAI, S. A., & KHALAF, A. S. (2022). Histomorphological study of the tongue in adult starling birds (Sturnus valguris). Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 9, 116–122. Retrieved from


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