Woodpecker Tongues

Did you know…

that Woodpeckers have very specialized tongues? Unlike you and I who have tongues that are muscular, the Woodpeckers have tongue bones along with muscles.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Also their tongue can be extremely long, even longer than their body.



So where do you store such a tongue?






The Woodpecker’s tongue actually wraps all the way back, up, and around their head and attaches at the nostril. Pretty cool storage area for a tongue designed to reach well into crevices and get out yummy snacks.


Pileated Woodpecker


Along with other adaptations, this wraparound tongue serves to buffer the Woodpecker’s brain from all that serious hammering. Some Woodpeckers can strike with up to 15 MPH of force at a cadence of 20 strikes per second and 12,000 strikes per day!


If only NFL players had that same brain and skull structure.

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