Does a Woodpecker Wrap Its Tongue Around Its Brain?

There are many questions about woodpeckers that people have. One of the most common questions is, does a woodpecker wrap its tongue around its brain? The answer to this question is not as simple as you may think.

There are actually a few different opinions on the matter. Some people believe that a woodpecker does wrap its tongue around its brain, while others believe that it does not.

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! A woodpecker wraps its tongue around its brain in order to protect it from the impact of pecking. This amazing adaptation helps the woodpecker avoid concussions and other serious injuries.

The human brain is protected by a thick layer of bone, called the skull. The woodpecker’s brain, however, is not as well-protected.

In order to keep its brain safe from harm, the woodpecker has evolved an interesting mechanism – it wraps its long tongue around its entire brain!

This may seem like a strange adaptation, but it actually makes perfect sense.

By wrapping its tongue around its brain, the woodpecker effectively creates a cushion that absorbs some of the impacts from pecking. This helps to prevent concussions and other serious injuries.

So next time you see a woodpecker hard at work, remember that it has evolved some pretty incredible adaptations to help it survive!


How Does a Woodpecker Protect Its Brain?

Woodpeckers have an unusual method of protecting their brains while pecking. Their skulls are very thick and solid, but their brain cases are thin and fragile.

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To protect their brains, woodpeckers have a special spongy tissue called “nuchal cushion” that surrounds and cushions the brain.

This spongy tissue is made up of blood vessels and connective tissue, and it absorbs the impact of the woodpecker’s beak as it strikes the tree trunk. The nuchal cushion protects the woodpecker’s brain from being jarred loose or injured by its own beak.

What Does a Woodpecker Do With Its Tongue?

A woodpecker’s tongue is specially adapted for drilling holes in wood. The tongue is long, thin, and very flexible. It has a sharp, barbed tip that can be retracted into the body.

When the bird wants to drill a hole, it sticks its tongue out of its mouth and into the wood. The barbed tip catches on the wood and the bird starts rotating its head. This action causes the tongue to start spiraling around, drilling a hole as it goes.

The length of a woodpecker’s tongue can be up to four times the length of its bill! That’s pretty impressive considering that some woodpeckers have bills that are only an inch or two long.

Does a Woodpecker’s Tongue Wrap around Its Skull?

No, a woodpecker’s tongue does not wrap around its skull. The woodpecker’s tongue is attached to the back of the skull and extends down the throat.

When the woodpecker drills into tree bark, its long, sticky tongue wraps around the prey and pulls it into its mouth.

Why Don’t Woodpeckers Get Concussions?

Woodpecker Tongue Length

Woodpeckers have a very long tongue that can extend up to four inches. The tongue is used for several things including cleaning the beak, removing insects from crevices, and probing for food.

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The tongue is also used to help the woodpecker balance while it is climbing trees.


A new study has found that the woodpecker has a unique way of protecting its brain from the force of its beak as it drills into trees. The woodpecker’s tongue is wrapped around its brain and held in place by a special bone in the skull.

This provides a cushion for the brain and prevents it from being damaged by the impact of the beak.


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