The distribution of taste buds on the fungiform and circumvallate papillae of the cow tongue has been determined. The two tongues studied were from Holstein-Friesian cows four to six years of age; they contained 14,765 and 21,691 taste buds, respectively. The tip of the tongue is well supplied with fungiform papillae, and the posterior portion contains the circumval-late papillae. The midportion of the tongue contains relatively few taste papillae.
The fungiform papillae contained 1,580 and 1,838 taste buds on the two tongues, respectively, and the circumvallate papillae were estimated to contain 13,185 and 19,853 taste buds. The highest concentration of taste buds therefore occurs in the circumvallate papillae; these relatively few papillae contain approximately 90% of the taste buds. On a circumvallate papilla, taste buds are found only on the papillary sidewall, with none either on the apical surface of the papilla or on the outer wall of the moat.