Scanning Electron Microscopy Study of the Dorsal Surface of the Tongue in Zaedyus pichiy (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Dasypodidae)
The dorsal surface of the tongue of Zaedyus pichiy (Desmarest, 1804) was examined by scanning electron microscopy. Conical and branched filiform, fungiform and vallate papillae are described. No foliate papillae were seen. Conical filiform papillae are distributed in the apex, both lateral edges and caudally to the vallated ones. The branched papillae represent the most numerous type of lingual papillae; they are distributed over the entire dorsal surface of the tongue. The fungiform papillae are placed among the filiform ones, more densely distributed on the tip of the lingual apex. In the posterior third of the tongue there are two vallated papillae surrounded by a deep circular grove. Fungiform and circumvallate papillae are related to the sense of taste; openings of taste pores are visible on their surface. The filiform papillae have a mechanical and protective role.