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  • Strong
  • Clawed
  • Zygodactyl : 1st and 4th toe to the back and 2nd and 3rd toe in the front

Because of the arrangements of the toes, the toco toucan has more ability to grip onto branches high up in trees. The arrangement also creates difficulty for this bird to walk.


The Bill

The bill of a toco toucan is its distinguishing feature measuring to about 1/4 of the total body length. This long feature allows an extra stretch to reach fruits and seeds (a major part of their diet) that have grown thin twigs that are not able to support the weight of this bird. Its size is used to intimidate other smaller birds so much that the other birds will not even fight for their own young. However, it is not functioned as a weapon. The bill colors and patters are thought to serve as recognition symbols between different species and potentially have some part in courtship. Don't let the size of the toco toucan's bill fool you. It is hollow in a honeycomb type fashion yet is very solid. It is brightly colored pattern helps to send signals to other toucans. The bill has many different features and many uses, yet many people still have a hard time finding the significance of it.


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This page was created by Angela Todd.

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Page last updated: April 2008

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