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Abstract

Frozen sections from Indian and African elephant tongues were investigated neurohistologically. On the dorsum there are 3 to 5 vallate papillae. Foliate papillae consisting of 18 to 27 clefts are observed in the posterolateral region of the tongue. Wart-like papillae are distributed along the lateral border of the tongue from the foliate papillae region to the apex. Vallate and foliate papillae contain serous glands but have no taste buds. They are supplied with abundant lamellated corpuscles of Pacinian type in their upper mucosa. The wart-like papillae are composed of two or more papillae, each of which has many secondary papillae supplied with plexiform thin and thick nerves. They bear a few taste buds and contain lamellated corpuscles of Pacinian type.

From these neurohistologic characteristics wart-like papillae should be regarded as a receptive organ for secretion of the lingual glands. Lamellated corpuscles of Pacinian type are widely distributed over the whole surface of the tongue. The histologic location of these two structures is of interest in suggesting that they together play important roles as receptors of taste and tactile sensations during mastication of food. Double motor end plates are found on single muscle fibers. The mixed glands which are plentiful in the inferolateral area of the tongue are in close topographic relation with the wart-like papillae.