With the aim of clarifying certain morphological aspects of lingual development, chick tongues between the 8th day of incubation and hatching and also during the early postincubation period were investigated by means of the Scanning Electron Microscope. During this time, the tongue anlage underwent some remarkable morphogenetic changes, mostly involving the superficial epithelium but also including the appearance of the lingual glands at the level of the lingual root. With regards to the epithelium, it was possible to observe that in the first days of the incubation period examined, the superficial cells appeared dome-shaped, with microvilli on the apical surface; later they tended to become more flattened, and the microvilli were replaced by a thick net of microplicae. During the final days of incubation, and after hatching desquamative phenomena became evident. At no site of the tongue rudiment were taste buds ever observed, possibly because of the different functional role played by the avian tongue in comparison with that of the mammals.