The corpuscles of Herbst or Herbst corpuscles are nerve-endings similar to the Pacinian corpuscle, found in the mucous membrane of the tongue, in pits on the beak and in other parts of the bodies of birds. They differ from Pacinian corpuscles in being smaller and more elongated, in having thinner and more closely placed capsules, and in that the axis-cylinder in the central clear space is encircled by a continuous row of nuclei.
In many wading birds, a large number of Herbst corpuscles are found embedded in pits on the mandible that are believed to enable birds to sense prey under wet sand or soil.
^Piersma, Theunis; Renee van Aelst, Karin Kurk, Herman Berkhoudt and Leo R. M. Maas (1998). "A New Pressure Sensory Mechanism for Prey Detection in Birds: The Use of Principles of Seabed Dynamics?". Proceedings: Biological Sciences265 (1404): 1377–1383. doi:10.1098/rspb.1998.0445.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)