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Answered 2010-09-05 15:48:08

most do.

[improved]

All mammals have them. Lizards have them. Fish have them. Bugs have them.

The "chemical senses" (smell and taste) are the oldest senses, in evolutionary terms. In some sense amoebas ARE taste buds: they sense particular chemicals and go towards them. In invertebrate animals (like insects), some cells are devoted to chemical senses, and those are the direct evolutionary equivalents of our taste buds.

Tongues are a feature of vertebrates. Every vertebrate has a tongue, and every tongue has taste buds. They evolved from the chemical sensing cells in other animals.

(If you don't like the evolutionary version of the story, let's just say that God decided that everybody needed chemical senses and stuck taste buds on the vertebrates and in fit of lack of imagination used the same structures as the chemical sensing cells on the invertebrates.)

Different species have different taste buds specialized to the things they're most interested in. Cats don't taste sweetness and don't particularly require sweetness in their diet. Lots of species taste bitterness (some humans more strongly than others) both to avoid poisons and to detect medicines. But everybody's got them.

Everybody has a sense of smell, too. Smell allows you to detect chemicals at a distance; taste is what's used right up close. The sense of smell draws finer distinctions, but isn't very good at detecting ions that have to be dissolved in water to detect, like saltiness, sweetness, or sourness.

Not really my answer... I just needed to update the previous answer for you.

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