Do fish have taste buds?

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2010-09-05 15:48:08

most do.


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


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


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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