Toucan | National Geographic

Common Name :
Toco toucans
Scientific Name :
Ramphastos toco
Type :
Diet :
Group Name :
Average Life Span In The Wild :
Up to 20 years
Size :
Body: 25 inches; bill: 7.5 inches
Weight :
20 ounces
Size relative to a 6-ft man :


IUCN Red List Status :
Least concern








Least Concern


Current Population Trend :

The toco toucan, the largest and best-known toucan species, is at home in South America ‘s tropical forests. Its outsize, colorful placard has made it one of the world ‘s most popular birds : They ‘re companion commercial mascots, known for hawking portly, cereal, and other products. They can weigh closely two pounds and grow to 25 inches long, with their placard accounting for about one-half of their length. autochthonal peoples regard the dame with a consecrated eye ; they are traditionally seen as conduits between the worlds of the live and the spirits .

Toucan bill and diet

Both male and female toucans posse large, colorful bills. Their exact function is n’t clear, though they ‘re believed to play a function in the courthship ritual and in self-defense. As a weapon, however, the bill is more show than substance. It ‘s a lightweight honeycomb of keratin—the lapp protein that makes up fingernails and horn—supported by dilute rods of bone. While its size may deter predators, it is of little use in fighting them. The toco toucan can besides regulate the stream of rake to its beak, allowing the bird to use it as a manner to distribute heat aside from its body. The bill is useful as a eating cock. The birds use them to reach fruit on branches that are excessively minor to support their burden. And the beak ‘s serrated edges are utilitarian for peeling fruit. In addition to fruit such as figs, oranges, and guava, toco toucans eat insects and eggs and nestlings of young birds.


Toco toucans feed either individually or in little flocks in the canopy. They tend to hop more than they fly. Their undimmed colors provide good camouflage in the dappled light of the rainforest canopy. The birds keep up a racket of vocalizations— chiefly grunting and snoring sounds —that are frequently compared to the die of frogs. These toucans nest in tree cavities and normally lay two to four eggs, which both parents take turns incubating. Young toucans do not have a large bill at birth—it grows as they develop and does not become full size for several months .


These iconic birds are listed as “ least concern ” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature because they occupy such a large image. The species ‘ overall numbers, however, are declining. They are hunted for food and for the darling trade, where their bright colors and intelligence make them popular.

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