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The tongue is not similarly formed in all animals. Serpents have a very thin tongue, and three-forked,1 which they vibrate to and fro: it is of a black colour, and when drawn from out of the mouth, of extraordinary length. The tongue of the lizard is two-forked, and covered with hair.2 That of the sea-calf also is twofold,3 but with the serpents it is of the thinness of a hair; the other animals employ it to lick the parts around the mouth. Fishes have nearly the whole of the tongue adhering to the palate, while in the crocodile the whole of it does adhere thereto: but in the aquatic animals the palate, which is fleshy, performs the duty of the tongue as the organ of taste. In lions, pards, and all the animals of that class, and in cats as well, the tongue is covered with asperities,4 which overlap each other, and bear a strong resemblance to a rasp. Such being its formation, if the animal licks a man's skin, it will wear it away by making it thinner and thinner; for which reason it is that the saliva of even a perfectly tame animal, being thus introduced to the close vicinity of the blood, is apt to bring on madness. Of the tongue of the purple we have made mention5 already. With the frog the end of the tongue adheres to the mouth, while the inner part is disjoined from the sides of the gullet; and it is by this means that the males give utterance to their croaking, at the season at which they are known as ololygones.6 This happens at stated periods of the year, at which the males invite the females for the purposes of propagation: letting down the lower lip to the surface of the water, they receive a small portion of it in the mouth, and then, by quavering with the tongue, make a gurgling noise, from which the croaking is produced which we hear. In making this noise, the folds of the mouth, becoming distended, are quite transparent, and the eyes start from the head and burn again with the effort. Those insects which have a sting in the lower part of the body, have teeth, and a tongue as well; with bees it is of considerable length, and in the grasshopper it is very prominent. Those insects which have a fistulous sting in the mouth, have neither tongue nor teeth; while others, again, have a tongue in the interior of the mouth, the ant, for instance. In the elephant the tongue is remarkably broad; and while with all other animals, each according to its kind, it is always perfectly at liberty, with man, and him alone, it is often found so strongly tied down by certain veins, that it becomes necessary to cut them. We find it stated that the pontiff Metellus had a tongue so ill adapted for articulation, that he is generally supposed to have voluntarily submitted to torture for many months, while preparing to pronounce the speech which he was about to make on the dedication of the temple of Opifera.7 In most persons the tongue is able to articulate with distinctness at about the seventh year; and many know how to employ it with such remarkable skill, as to be able to imitate the voices of various birds and other animals with the greatest exactness. The other animals have the sense of taste centred in the fore-part of the tongue; but in man it is situate in the palate as well.

1 Only two-forked in reality.

2 It is not covered with hair.

3 It is not bifurcate.

4 These are horny, conical papillæ, the summits of which point back- wards.

5 See B. ix. c. 60.

6 "Criers."

7 One of the titles of the goddess Fortuna.

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