Crazy Big Tongues

Did you know the blue whale’s tongue can be as heavy as an elephant? We take a look at some of the biggest, craziest tongues in the animal kingdom.


1. Chameleon

The chameleon has the longest tongue relative to its body size. Some species have tongues that are 70 centimetres (28 inches) long; that can be twice the length of their body. But chameleons also have very long tails and, if you include this in the measure of body size, then the tongue drops to ‘only’ the same as the total body length. In that case, the record would have to go to the tube-lipped nectar bat.

Caroline Granycome


2. Blue whale

The blue whale’s tongue weighs a whopping 2,700 kilograms (2.9 tons) which is more than the weight of an elephant. This is the biggest tongue of any animal (not relative to its size) and could fit about 50 people on it.


3. Giraffe

Giraffes use their rough tongues to distinguish the thorns from the nutritious leaves of an Acacia tree. Their tongues measure 45 to 50 centimetres (18-20 inches) and they are able to lick their entire face with it.


4. Giant pangolin

The giant pangolin measures about one metre long (3.3 feet) and its tongue is on average 70 centimetres (2.3 feet) long. This allows the scaly anteater to guzzle thousands of ants and termites each day.


5. Tube-lipped nectar bat

The tube-lipped nectar bat is just 5.5 centimetres (2.2 inches) long, but its tongue measures in at 8.5 centimetres (3.3 inches) – one and a half times its total body length.