What do taste buds look like — up-close?

The sense of taste, or gustatory sense, occurs in the taste buds. Located primarily on the tongue, taste buds reside in papillae, the bumps on the tongue that give it a rough texture. The taste bud consists of supporting cells, basal cells, and gustatory (receptor) cells arranged in the shape of a globe. The globe has an opening, or taste pore, to the outside located at the top. A long microvilli (or gustatory hair) from each gustatory receptor cell within the taste bud projects through the taste pore. Gustatory hairs generate action potentials when stimulated by chemicals that are dissolved in the saliva.