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Location and Habitat

Toco toucans are located in many countries throughout South America. The countries are located mostly on the eastern side of the continent and include Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela. Toco toucans often build their nests in decayed, hollow trees of the rainforest. These nests are often found high in the canopies of the rainforests.


Diet

Toco toucans mostly eat various types of fruit. Occasionally, they will also feed on insects or lizards.


Size and Description

Toco toucans are the largest of all toucans. They grow to sizes of 1.5 - 2 feet. The most noticable aspect of toco toucans is their large bills. These bills are made of a type of keratin. Keratin is a protein that is also found in turtle shells, bird feathers and hair. Like all toucans, toco toucans' bills are light-weight because a large portion of the bills are hollow. The bills of tocos are a bright orange - yellow. One possible reason for the bright color is that the bills may resemble fruit high in the canopy. This would be a unique type of camoflauge. Another reason is that it may be a way to attract a mate.

Toco toucans have black feathers which cover much of their bodies. Around their eyes and on their chests are white feathers. Their eyes are a bright blue color.

Behaviors

Tocos are not excellent fliers so they often need to walk and hop across branches to get to places where fruit is at. They will then use their long beaks to grab fruit that would otherwise be out of reach to birds with smaller bills.

Toco toucans have loud calls and chatter that they use to communicate with other tocos of the rainforest. Some of these calls can be heard miles away.

Reproduction

Toco toucans will lay clutches of 2 - 5 eggs in the nests they have built in the trees. Both the male and the female will sit on the eggs to incubate them until they hatch. The eggs will hatch after about a half of a month of incubation.


Other Facts

Toco toucans are carved into many tribal totem poles in South America.


Toucan Sam, the mascot of Kellogg's Fruit Loops, may be designed after a toco toucan.


 
©Photographer: Daph Chloe
    Classification
    Kingdom: Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species: Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Felidae Leopardus pardalis
           
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