African Zoology

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Taste buds in the palatal mucosa of snakes

Herman Berkhoudt, Perrin Wilson, Bruce Young


An examination of the oral mucosa of Crotalus and several Scolecophidia revealed the presence of taste buds. The taste buds in these two divergent groups of snakes are similar in appearance, and correspond to previous descriptions of gustatory organs in  other reptiles. Few taste buds were present in any specimen, and these were restricted to the palatal mucosa adjacent to the  ducts to the vomeronasal organ. Taste buds were not found in some of the scolecophidians examined.

Keywords: Crotalus, Scolecophidia, Viperidae, oral cavity, chemoreception, gustatory organs.
AJOL African Journals Online