Featured Animal: Toco Toucan

Meet our featured animal: the toco toucan!

Toco toucan

Here are five fun facts about toco toucans:

  • Measuring 63.5 cm (25 in.) in length, the toco toucan is the largest of all toucans.
  • Toucans regulate body temperature by adjusting the flow of blood to their beak. More blood flow means more heat is released.
  • Toco toucans use their beaks to pluck and peel fruit, their main source of food.
  • Although they spend a lot of time in trees, they are not very good at flying. Toucans mainly travel among trees by hopping.
  • Toucans nest in the hollows of trees. They often move into cavities created and abandoned by woodpeckers.

Learn more at our toco toucan facts page!

Toucan’s Bill

toucanA study done by St. Catharine’s Brock University has figured out the evolutionary purpose of the toucan’s distinctive bill. Researchers have concluded that the bill, which accounts for 30-40 percent of the toucan’s surface area, is used to dispense body heat. Toucans can use their beak as a way to regulate their body temperature. By controlling the amount of blood flowing through their beaks, toucans can adjust their body temperature.

This study puts to rest earlier theories about the bill. These theories include that the bill was used to attract a mate, reach fruit, or scare away predators.

For more visit The Toronto Star.

Learn more about the toucan by visiting Animal Fact Guide’s article: Toco Toucan.