What is a lingual nail?
A lingual nail is not a finger nail, nor a toe nail.
Lingual means tongue. A lingual nail is the toughened tip of the tongue of some birds.
It is made of keratin, which is the same material as a finger nail or a toe nail. The lingual tongue is the keratinized muscle tissue, called the epithelium.
A lingual nail is flexible and can be stretched. A bird uses the lingual nail as a spoon when it is eating.
The species of birds that have a lingual nail include ducks, geese, swans, parrots, and chickens.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM