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Tigers/How do tiger and lion tongues look different?


Is one longer? How long is a lion tongue? How long is a tiger tongue? How do they look different?

  The tongues of these two big cats actually look very similar. They are covered with small rear facing projections called papillae. They help the big cats to scrap the meat off the bones and also peel the feathers, skin and fur off their victim's body. The tongue is so rough that it is said that it is capable of licking the paint off a wall. It is also said that if a lion or tiger licks your hands, it can peel off your skin, but it is doubtful as I have seen many pet lions and tigers licking their owner's hands without hurting them.
  The length of the tongue varies in different subspecies. The lenght of the tongue of Siberian tigers and Royal Bengal tigers, the two largest subspecies of tiger, can reach 10-12 inches and that of the sumatran tigers, the smallest extant subspecies, can be as long as 6-7 inches. The lion's tongue is also of the same length. The color varies from light orange to pale rosy pink. Some people believe that the tigers lick the blood of their victims, which is absolutely wrong, as their tongue is not designed to lick blood. When the tiger holds the throat of its victim tightly to strangle it, it looks as if it is drinking blood. It is difficult to say just by looking at a tongue whether it is the tongue of a lion or a tiger.


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Srinivasa Murthy S V


I can answer most questions related to wildlife. I love nature to such an extent that I have even created my e-mail id in the name of one of the most beautiful birds of western ghats, malabar trogon. I am particularly interested in mammals and birds, but can also answer questions related to reptiles and amphibians. One can ask questions related to taxonomy also.


Frankly speaking, I don't have any experience of working in this field officially, but interest is my biggest strength and since I am from malnad region, I live in the midst of nature. Birdwatching is my favorite hobby and Salim Ali's "The book of indian birds" is my all-time companion whereever I go. I want to do something for the conservation of our rapidly dwindling wildlife...

Recently I have joined India Nature Watch and have posted some photographs, but I am still the beginner in the field. I have a lot of interest to grow in this field and looking for opportunities.

I have written many articles both in English and my mother language, Kannada. My articles were published in Kannada magazines like Sudha, Taranga, Mayura, Kasturi, Karmaveera etc, but none of my english articles were accepted for publication.

I have completed my graduation with Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science as my main subjects. I completed graduation in 2009 with 86.41%. Even though I never studied Biology as a main subject, but that didn't affect my love for wildlife in any way. I tried to join M.Sc course in NCBS. I even passed the entrance exam, but I failed to clear the next steps. So i had to postpone my ideas temparorily.

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