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Interesting facts about the Toco toucan

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We found 12 interesting facts about toco toucan

Ramphastos toko is a bird with an impressive beak.

The toco toucan is the largest and most famous species of toucan found in the tropical forests of South America. It is one of the most popular birds in the world and owes its fame to its impressive colorful beak. 

Toco toucans are of great importance to the peoples of South America. Their images are placed on tribal totem poles, and some natives believe that they help the souls of the dead fly to the afterlife.

1

The toco toucan is the largest and probably the most famous representative of the toucan family (Ramphastidae).

It is also called the great toucan, the giant toucan, and the common toucan.

2

It is found over a large area of ​​central and eastern South America.

It inhabits the semi-open areas of French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina. Unlike other members of the genus Ramphastos, it is an essentially non-forest species. It can be found in a variety of habitats; These are predominantly sparse forests (he avoids dense forests), savannas and steppes.

It is primarily a lowland species, but is found at altitudes up to 1750 meters near the Andes in Bolivia.

3

There are two known subspecies of the toco toucan.

First Ramphastos knock knock Found in Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, northern and northeastern Brazil and southeastern Peru. 

Second subspecies - Ramphastos toco albogularis inhabiting eastern and southern Brazil, northern Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina.

4

This species was first described in 1776 by the German zoologist Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller.

The toco toucan is an easily recognizable bird, mainly due to its beak, which is the most striking feature of this species. It has clearly contrasting plumage, mostly black. The throat, upper chest and rump are white, the undertail coverts are red. The toco toucan's tail is rounded and its legs are gray.

Toco toucans have a blue eye areola surrounded by another ring of bare orange skin. The iris of the eye is brownish.

The body length of the toco toucan is approximately 55-63 cm, body weight is approximately 592-760 g. Sexual dimorphism is not pronounced. Females are slightly smaller than males.

Juveniles have a shorter yellowish bill without a dark spot at the end.

5

A characteristic feature of this bird is its huge beak.

The color is yellow-orange, fading to a deeper reddish-orange at the bottom, with a black base and a large spot at the tip. The beak measures from 15,8 to 23 cm and is almost a third of the bird's length. It occupies 30 to 50% of the body's surface area, although the sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) has a longer bill in relation to body length (the only bird with a bill longer than the rest of the body, excluding the tail).

French naturalist Comte de Buffon called the toco toucan's beak an "extremely monstrous" addition.

The beak appears heavy, but like other toucans, it is relatively light because the inside is largely hollow. It has an openwork structure consisting of a network of bone trabeculae.

To learn more …

6

Toco toucans are omnivores and feed on food of both plant and animal origin.

The large beak size allows them to crack larger seeds and easily capture fruits, vegetables, insects, eggs and small birds. Their longer beak also allows them to pluck fruit from the tops of branches without leaving their stable position on another branch.

The toucan's beak is equipped with knife-like teeth, allowing it to easily tear food and peel fruit.

7

Toco toucans are usually found in pairs or small groups.

They nest seasonally. The nest is usually located high in a tree and consists of a hole, at least part of which has been hollowed out by the birds intending to live in it (they usually use holes left by other birds). Nesting in burrows in the ground and termite mounds has also been recorded.

Toucans are active during the day. When they go to bed, they turn their heads so that their beak is on their back, and then cover themselves with their long tails - they look like balls of feathers. Thanks to this, 5-6 adult birds can fit in the hole.

8

Toco toucans have an annual reproductive cycle.

The laying of eggs is preceded by a courtship phase, during which the fruits are thrown at each other. The female usually lays two to four eggs a few days after mating. The eggs are incubated by both sexes and hatch after 17-18 days. The chicks hatch naked and blind. They open their eyes only after three weeks of life. Chicks have special pads on the soles of their paws that provide protection from uneven bottoms of the hollow. They disappear after reaching maturity. Toco toucans take great care of their chicks. The chicks leave the nest after 46-50 days. 

They reach sexual maturity at the age of three to four years. They live for about 20 years, the longest recorded age is 26 years. In captivity, toco toucans live shorter lives, about 18 years, and often suffer from hemochromatosis (a genetically determined disease of iron metabolism).

9

Toko the toucan gained fame as an advertising character for the Guinness brewery.

Graphic artist John Gilroy's illustration of a toucan balancing on a glass of brewery product was first used in advertising in 1935.

10

Toco toucans are considered a fairly common species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has designated them as an LC species of Least Concern since 1988.

11

The toco toucan is an extremely intelligent bird.

Almost every major zoo in the world has toco toucans among its wards. They are a big attraction in zoos and are not particularly demanding birds. They are also often owned by private breeders. A toucan raised from a chick very quickly becomes tame, and its intelligence is comparable to large species of parrots.

Watching a toucan eat can be very interesting, as these birds have a habit of throwing food into the air and catching it in flight with their powerful beaks.

12

Toco toucans are of great importance to indigenous peoples.

These peoples believe that toucans help the souls of the dead pass to the afterlife. There is also a belief that these birds are associated with evil forces, so the father of a newborn child should not eat toucan meat, as it can bring a curse on the offspring.

Images of toco toucans are often placed on tribal totem poles.

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