The toco toucan

🌈ANIMAL FACT🌈The toco toucan, the largest and best-known toucan species, is at home in South America’s tropical forests. Its oversized, colorful bill has made it one of the world’s most popular birds. Indigenous peoples regard the bird with a sacred eye and toucans are traditionally seen as conduits between the worlds of the living and the spirits. ⁠

Both male and female toucans possess large, colorful bills which are believed to play a role in the courthship ritual and in self-defense. The bills are made of a lightweight honeycomb of keratin—the same protein that makes up our fingernails —supported by thin rods of bone. The toco toucan can also regulate the flow of blood to its bill, allowing the bird to use it as a way to distribute heat away from its body.⁠

Source: National Geographic

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