Toucans are amazing birds and here are some interesting, cool, and weird facts about them
When you hear the word ‘toucan,’ it’s very likely that what pops into the forefront of your mind is one particular genus of toucans, the Ramphastos—aka, the typical toucans. With their orange bills and black-and-white plumage, it’s hard to mistake them for any other bird. ‘Typical?’ More like fabulous.
A toucan’s bill has a network of blood vessels and the bird expands them to cool down its body temperature—just like the elephants use their big ears
Here’s how baby toucans look
However, there are 4 other genera of toucan, including Andigena (mountain toucans), Selenidera (dichromatic toucanets), Pteroglossus (araçaris), and Aulacorhynchus (green toucanets). Among the birds that toucans are related to are woodpeckers; however, they’re only distant relatives, so don’t expect toucans to start hammering palm trees with their bills.
A toucan’s tongue looks strangely like a feather and can be as long as 6 inches (15 centimeters)
Due to the sheer size of the beak, it would be sensible to think it weighs a fair amount, but actually, due to the little air holes the beak is actually quite light
Toucans get their name from the extinct language of the native Tupi people of Brazil, via Portuguese. The Tupi used to call these birds ‘tukana,’ and their name hasn’t changed much over the centuries.
An X-rayed toucan’s beak
Belize has the rainbow-billed toucan as its national bird
Toucans mainly eat fruit. But they are what’s called “opportunistically omnivorous” which means that they eat animals like lizards, birds, and insects that are available in order to survive. Basically, imagine that you’re a vegan, but suddenly you’re flung to a faraway carnivore planet with no fruit, vegetables, plants, or nuts, and the only sources of food are animals. You’re told that you’ll be rescued in a month’s time. You’d eat what you’d have to eat to survive until then, wouldn’t you?