The Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) has a bright orange beak that is about a third of its total size. This visitor to the Living Coast came for SuperWild, our exhibit celebrating animal adaptations that are so cool that they can be thought of as super powers. If you want to see this beautiful bird with the super beak, you’ll need to do so before September 7th, when SuperWild ends.
You might think the Toucan’s beak is thick, strong and heavy but it is actually honeycombed, making it quite light. Toucans use these beaks to gather and peel fruit, for mating rituals (that involve tossing and catching fruit) and to regulate their body temperatures. More blood flow to the beak means more heat released and, when they sleep, they tuck their beak under their feathers to keep them warm.
Inside the beak is a flat tongue of the same length, which helps the toucan catch insects, frogs, and reptiles. Baby toucans are not born with a large beak; the beak grows as the birds develop. We invite you to see our special guest, the Toco Toucan, with nose that is so useful that it’s considered a super power until September 7th in our Discovery Center Gallery.
Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images of Zora the Toco Toucan.