Latin name: Ramphastidae
size: up to 60cm
mass: about 400 - 600g
Older: 5 - 15 years
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Fruiteater (frugivor) / Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Fruits, insects
distribution: Central America, South America
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Tropical rain forest
natural enemies: Birds of prey
sexual maturityafter about two to three years
mating season: depending on the species
breeding season: 2 - 3 weeks
clutch size: 1 - 4 eggs
social behavior: Swarm bird
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the toucan
- Toucans belong to the order of woodpeckers and are found in tropical and subtropical forests in mid-highlands of South America and in Trinidad. Most species live in the Amazon region.
- In total there are 45 species of toucans classified into six genera belonging to the family of the Ramphastidae.
- The largest species are the giant toucans with a body length of sixty centimeters. The most colorful birds of this family are the rainbow and the fish toucan.
- All types of toucans are considered endangered because they are hunted by humans for their showy plumage and flesh.
- The basic color of the glossy plumage is black, on the throat and chest appear bright color spots in intense white, orange, red, green or yellow.
- Toucans feed mainly on eggs of other birds, insects, spiders and fruits. The large specimens are also small mammals and reptiles as food sources.
- Because of the short wings, toucans fly poorly and move mainly by bouncing from branch to branch.
- The colorful birds live in the dense jungle in the treetops and nest there in small caves of thick trunks.
- The eye-catching, somewhat impractical and colorful beak of the toucans is four times larger than the head of the birds and has a length of about twenty centimeters. Although it looks heavy and massive, its beak weighs little, as it has cavities inside. Each bird has a unique, individually colored beak, which is therefore a distinguishing feature among its peers.
- Scientists suspect that the big beak on the one hand provides an additional visual attraction in finding a partner, on the other hand used to defend against predators such as large birds and weasels. The function of regulating body temperature is also being researched intensively. The birds may release excess heat in the body via the large beak to the air.
- Males and females live as monogamous couples and take care of the rearing of the boys together.
- The characteristic call of the toucans can be heard over long distances in the jungle and sounds similar to the loud croaking of frogs.
- In sleeping position, toucans look like rolled-up balls of feathers, as they lay their bills on their backs and fold their long tails over their bodies.
- In many indigenous cultures of South and Central America, the toucan is said to have negative energies. The superstitious people suspect that the birds are inhabited by evil spirits and therefore their meat must not be eaten on certain occasions.