A lion’s lick

A lion’s lick

The rough round bumps you can feel on your tongue are papillae. The tongue of a lion is covered in lots of spiky papillae which means they can lick the skin off
of their prey and loosen the meat from the bones to make it easier to eat.

Lions also have something called a Jacobson’s organ. This is a small area on the roof of their mouth that helps them to ‘taste’ smells in the air.

That’s why if a lion shows you its teeth and sticks out its tongue, it isn’t being rude. It’s trying to smell you to decide if you might be tasty for dinner.