Woodpeckers are fascinating creatures, but the most interesting thing about them is not their beautiful colors or strong beaks - it is their incredibly long tongue.

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I never thought I would be writing an article about the inner workings of a woodpecker, but here I am nonetheless. I have to say this is one of the neatest pieces of nature knowledge I have ever learned. So, here we go, let's talk about woodpecker tongues. Simply put, they are really, really long.

How Long is a Woodpecker's Tongue?

On average, the length of a woodpecker's tongue can be up to one-third of the length of the bird's body. Think about that for a second, and put it into human terms. Imagine if your tongue stretched from your mouth all the way down into your stomach. Now that's a lot of tongue.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Why is a Woodpecker's Tongue So Long?

A woodpecker's tongue serves a couple of very important purposes, none of which have anything to do with impressing the opposite sex. It's used for finding food inside of trees - through the little holes they create with their beaks - and it also kind of acts like a seat belt in the bird's head. The illustration above shows how the long tongue wraps around the bird's brain - so I guess it's less of a seat belt and more of a brain belt.

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It makes sense why a woodpecker would need this when you think about the damage inflicted on its beak and head each day. According to fieldmuseum.org, woodpeckers can "experience forces of 1,200 to 1,400 g’s - about 14 times more g-force than what it takes for a human to get a concussion."

Charming Quotes About Birds

I love watching my birdy boys outside. Here are some cute quotes that I found that sum up my newfound bird infatuation.

Gallery Credit: ASHLEY SOLLARS

SEE: 15 Animals You Cannot Own in Evansville

I got the idea for this after seeing an article by Michelle Heart with our Townsquare Media sister-station, 107.9 Lite-FM in Boise, Idaho. She had discovered several animals residents in that city can't own based on city codes she found online which got me thinking about whether Evansville had any regulations that were similar. Obviously, they did or this article wouldn't exist. Chapter 14, Article 3, section 42 and 43 spell out a lengthy list of exotic animals you can get in trouble owning if local officials find out. You can see the entire list on the city's website. These are the 15 I found to be the most interesting.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

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