Which Animal Has the Longest Tongue?

The animal with the longest tongue in proportion to its body is thought to be a rare type of orchid bee, called an euglossa natesi. The bee itself is less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) long, but its tongue extends as far as 1.32 inches (about 3.4 cm) — about twice the length of the bee's body. The mammal with the proportionally longest tongue is the South American tube lipped nectar bat. Although this bat is only about the size of a mouse, its tongue is about 150 percent of its body length, which would be like a person who is 6 feet (1.8 m) tall having a tongue that is 9 feet (2.7 m) long.

More facts about long tongues:

  • In terms of sheer length of tongue, the blue whale is thought to have the longest tongue. Its tongue is about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle automobile and can weigh about 3 tons (about 2,700 kg).

  • As of 2011, the human with the longest recorded tongue was Stephen Taylor of the United Kingdom. His tongue was measured at 3.86 inches (9.8 cm) long.

  • The tube lipped nectar bat's tongue is so long that it has to be stored in its ribcage.

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