A description of the times of appearance and regression of marginal lingual papillae in human fetuses and newborns

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Abstract

Papillae, located along the anterolateral margin of the human tongue, were observed in fetal and newborn stages. The papillae appeared in the prenatal period and attained maximum development in the newborn. They had almost disappeared by the time of weaning. Although morphologically, the papillae may be considered to be a form of the filiform papillae, they differed from the filiform papillae in that they were temporary, localized at the anterolateral margin of the tongue, and larger in size. These papillae are homologous with those in certain land mammals and toothed whales, and may assist in sucking. Our findings on the times of appearance and regression of marginal papillae support this notion.

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