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Category: Birds



Toucans are a familiar bird to many people because of their colorful, generously proportioned bills.  There are about 40 different species of toucans and they can be found in Southern Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. The different species range in size from just a few ounces to well over a pound. Not only are their large but light bills effective for thermoregulation, they are helpful in feeding, allowing a toucan to reach more food from a stationary position. Toucans can make entertaining companions as long as they receive plenty of out of the cage time for exercise and interaction. Owners who give their toucans free reign in the house need to be aware that toucans will scoop almost any random tidbit for a snack, regardless of whether or not it’s edible – so don’t leave any screws, wires, etc. laying around. With their diet and other needs properly attended to, these charismatic birds can live for over 20 years.

Read more about toucans here!


Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Piciformes
Family - Ramphastidae

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Interesting Animal Facts

Sugar, Honey Honey…

Too much sugar in the diet leads to obesity for humans: if we drink a can of soda pop (which is mostly high fructose corn syrup), the fructose is converted into fat by our livers; drink too many too often, and we end up gaining weight. But for hummingbirds, sugar isn’t something to eat sparingly: it is a source of power! Because of their simple, sugar rich diet, hummingbirds have adapted the ability to fuel their muscles with fructose without first converting it to fat - a feat unique among vertebrates. We do not yet know for sure how they process it so fast, though experiments have demonstrated that they do indeed possess this amazing capability. How fast, you ask? Their metabolisms are so extreme, a human-sized hummingbird would have to drink a can of soda pop every minute in order to gain weight!

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