Morphological examination and scanning electron microscopy of the barn owl's (Tyto alba) tongue


Microscopy Research and Technique, vol.86, no.7, pp.747-753, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 86 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jemt.24302
  • Journal Name: Microscopy Research and Technique
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.747-753
  • Keywords: barn owl, radix linguae, scanning electron microscopy
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


The beak structure changes according to the feeding patterns of birds. Further, the morphological and histological structures of their tongues vary. Therefore, the current study aimed to perform macroanatomical and histological examinations and scanning electron microscopy of the barn owl's (Tylo alba) tongue. Two dead barn owls were brought to the anatomy laboratory and were used as study material. The tongue of the barn owl was long, triangular-shaped with a bifurcated tip. There were no papillae in the anterior 1/3 of the tongue, and the lingual papillae were shaped toward the back. The radix linguae were surrounded by a single row of conical papillae. Irregular thread-like papillae were found on both sides of the tongue. The salivary gland ducts were on the lateral margin of the corpus linguae and the dorsal surface of the radix linguae. The lingual glands were in the lamina propria near the stratified squamous epithelium layer of the tongue. The dorsal surface of the tongue comprised non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium, and the ventral surface and caudal part of the tongue had keratinized stratified squamous epithelium. Hyaline cartilages were detected in the connective tissue immediately below the non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium on the dorsal surface of the root of the tongue. The study results can contribute to the current knowledge on the anatomical structure of birds. Further, they can be useful in managing the barn owl when used as companion animals and in research activity.