Longest tongue on a bear

Longest tongue on a bear
Malayan sun bear, Ursus malayanus
20–25 centimetre(s)
Not Applicable

The Malayan sun bear (Ursus malayanus, or Helarctos malayanus) has the longest tongue in the bear family, reaching 20–25 centimetres (7.8–9.8 inches) long when feeding. It uses this long appendage to extract termites, ants and honey from hard-to-reach places like tree trunks and insect nests.

Native to the Indian subcontinent and south-east Asia, the Malayan sun bear is also the smallest species of bear.

According to biologist and Bornean wildlife/ecology expert Dr Erik Meijaard – noted in his book Ursus malayanus, the Neglected Malayan Sun Bear (1999) – "the sides of the tongue can be rolled up, giving the tongue an almost tubular appearance."