Median tongue bud

The median tongue bud (also tuberculum impar) marks the beginning of the development of the tongue. It appears as a midline swelling from the first pharyngeal arch late in the fourth week of embryogenesis.[1] In the fifth week, a pair of lateral lingual swellings (or distal tongue buds) develop above and in line with the median tongue bud. These swellings grow downwards towards each other, quickly overgrowing the median tongue bud.[1] The line of the fusion of the distal tongue buds is marked by the median sulcus.[1]

Median tongue bud
Floor of pharynx of human embryo about twenty-six days old.
Floor of pharynx of human embryo of about the end of the fourth week.
Gives rise totongue
Latintuberculum linguale mediale, tuberculum impar, tuber impar
Anatomical terminology
Pattern of the pharyngeal arches. I-IV pharyngeal arches, 1-4 pharyngeal pouches (inside) and/or pharyngeal grooves (outside)
a Lateral lingual swellings
b Median tongue bud
c Foramen cecum
d Thyroglossal duct
e Cervical sinus


  1. Larsen, William J. (2001). Human embryology (3. ed.). Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone. pp. 372–373. ISBN 0-443-06583-7.

This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1102 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  • hednk-024—Embryo Images at University of North Carolina

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