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Mouth of a camel
Snout of a domestic dog

In the broader sense, the snout is the protruding part of the head of vertebrates below the eyes . In a narrower sense, the term “snout” is understood to mean the mouth opening with the oral cavity and is primarily related to carnivorous vertebrates; in the case of herbivorous species, this head region is usually referred to as the " mouth ". The muzzle is essentially formed by the chewing apparatus and serves as an organ of nutrition, in particular the acquisition and intake of food .


The snout includes the area around the mouth with the jaw and in mammals also the cheeks . This area of ​​the bony skull is known as the rostrum . If this area is surrounded by horn , it is a beak (for example in birds , turtles or platypus ). A nose that is muscularly elongated in the area of ​​the snout is called a trunk . The nose is continued at the upper part of the muzzle , so the nostrils are usually at the front end of the muzzle.

Since the area of ​​the snout is primarily used for food intake and also represents the foremost area of ​​the head, it has a number of sensory organs . This is how the nose absorbs smells; the tongue in the muzzle is endowed with taste buds . In various reptiles , the Jacobson organ is also located in the palate for smell perception , and many mammals have developed a nasal mirror (rhinarium). In addition, depending on the animal group considered, there are mechanoreceptors (in many mammals with specially trained sensory hairs, the vibrissae ) and thermoreceptors .

Individual evidence

  1. snout . In: Lexicon of Biology . Spectrum Academic Publishing House, Heidelberg 1999 ( ).


  • Friedrich Wilhelm Genthe: Concise dictionary of German synonyms. Published by Georg Reichardt, Eisleben and Leipzig 1834.

Web links

Commons : Schnauzen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Schnauze  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations