The importance of the tongue during feeding, and the limited information on the tongue of most aquatic mammals led us to investigate its morphological aspects in sexually immature and mature Sotalia guianensis. Six tongues were measured and photo-documented after their removal from the oral cavity. The samples were divided into rostral, middle, and caudal regions, and examined using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (S.E.M.). Sotalia guianensis tongue presented lateral grooves from the apex to the middle portion, while the anterolateral region presented marginal papillae. Histological characteristics revealed the presence of a keratinized stratified epithelium, salivary glands in the middle and caudal portions of the tongue, and filiform papillae in the caudal region. S.E.M. images revealed the presence of filiform papillae and ducts of salivary glands in the middle and caudal portions of the tongue. We can conclude that the characteristics found in this study may reflect an adaptation to changes in diet after weaning.
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Vol. 28 • No. 8