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The tongue is attached at its caudal side and is free at its cranial side. The ventral and lateral surfaces of the tongue are smooth, whereas its dorsal surface is rough due to the presence of keratinized papillae. Taste buds may occur within these papillae (in Chapter 10. Sense Organs, taste buds are depicted in detail). The tongue consists of skeletal muscle, a lamina propria containing connective tissue and minor salivary glands, and stratified squamous epithelium. The anterior tongue has a characteristic median dorsal groove at its tip.
The 4X micrograph exhibits the different textures of the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the anterior tongue. The 10X and 20X micrographs present the filiform papillae present in the dorsal surface. In the 40X micrograph the layers of the stratified squamous epithelium are visible.
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