Asked by: Emma-Louise Halliday, Bedford
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be licked by a giraffe, you’ll notice that their 50cm-long tongues can appear purple, bluish or almost black in colour. This is due to the density of dark ‘melanin’ colour pigments in them.
There’s still no definitive explanation for this, but the leading theory is that the melanin provides extra UV protection, preventing their delicate tongues from getting sunburnt as they feed up high.
Subscription offers you will love!
- Spread the cost and pay just £3.50 per issue when you subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine.
- Alternatively, lock in for longer and pay just £37.99 per year, saving 51%!
- Risk - free offer! Cancel at any time when you subscribe via Direct Debit.
- FREE UK delivery.