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People Are Suddenly Realizing Toucans Are Weirder Than They Thought, Share Facts About Them In A Viral Thread
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People Are Suddenly Realizing Toucans Are Weirder Than They Thought, Share Facts About Them In A Viral Thread

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When people get asked what their favorite birds are, they usually mention regal eagles, magnificent hawks, and fluffy owls. But some would argue (i.e. me) that the true king of all birds is the colorful, big-beaked toucan.

These birds are a whole other level of cool and weird, once you start reading up on them. And then there’s no climbing back out of that rabbit hole.

Did you know that toucans look very interesting when they sleep? Do you know the purpose of a toucan’s large bright beak? Have you ever imagined what a toucan’s skeleton looks like? The answers are fascinating, so scroll down, enjoy, and get ready to tell all of your friends and co-workers just how freaking awesome toucans are (and why they’re so much cooler than eagles).

Toucans are amazing birds and here are some interesting, cool, and weird facts about them

Image credits: cryptid-quartz

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Image credits: prokopetz

Image credits: worriedaboutmyfern

When you hear the word ‘toucan,’ it’s very likely that what pops into the forefront of your mind is one particular genus of toucans, the Ramphastos—aka, the typical toucans. With their orange bills and black-and-white plumage, it’s hard to mistake them for any other bird. ‘Typical?’ More like fabulous.

A toucan’s bill has a network of blood vessels and the bird expands them to cool down its body temperature—just like the elephants use their big ears

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Image credits: mygrapefruit

Here’s how baby toucans look

Image credits: zoogeo

Cute, right?

Image credits: Lowcrbnaman

However, there are 4 other genera of toucan, including Andigena (mountain toucans), Selenidera (dichromatic toucanets), Pteroglossus (araçaris), and Aulacorhynchus (green toucanets). Among the birds that toucans are related to are woodpeckers; however, they’re only distant relatives, so don’t expect toucans to start hammering palm trees with their bills.

A toucan’s tongue looks strangely like a feather and can be as long as 6 inches (15 centimeters)

Image credits: ThePocketGamer

Due to the sheer size of the beak, it would be sensible to think it weighs a fair amount, but actually, due to the little air holes the beak is actually quite light

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Image credits: Charles J Sharp

Image credits: DR. VECTOR

Toucans get their name from the extinct language of the native Tupi people of Brazil, via Portuguese. The Tupi used to call these birds ‘tukana,’ and their name hasn’t changed much over the centuries.

An X-rayed toucan’s beak

Image credits: timmy6169

Belize has the rainbow-billed toucan as its national bird

Image credits: Andy Morffew

Image credits: Basa Roland

Image credits: Charles J Sharp

Toucans mainly eat fruit. But they are what’s called “opportunistically omnivorous” which means that they eat animals like lizards, birds, and insects that are available in order to survive. Basically, imagine that you’re a vegan, but suddenly you’re flung to a faraway carnivore planet with no fruit, vegetables, plants, or nuts, and the only sources of food are animals. You’re told that you’ll be rescued in a month’s time. You’d eat what you’d have to eat to survive until then, wouldn’t you?

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People couldn’t help but make toucan-related jokes and puns

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Jonas Grinevičius

Jonas Grinevičius

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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Storytelling, journalism, and art are a core part of who I am. I've been writing and drawing ever since I could walk—there is nothing else I'd rather do. My formal education, however, is focused on politics, philosophy, and economics because I've always been curious about the gap between the ideal and the real. At work, I'm a Senior Writer and I cover a broad range of topics that I'm passionate about: from psychology and changes in work culture to healthy living, relationships, and design. In my spare time, I'm an avid hiker and reader, enjoy writing short stories, and love to doodle. I thrive when I'm outdoors, going on small adventures in nature. However, you can also find me enjoying a big mug of coffee with a good book (or ten) and entertaining friends with fantasy tabletop games and sci-fi movies.

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Jonas Grinevičius

Jonas Grinevičius

Writer, BoredPanda staff

Storytelling, journalism, and art are a core part of who I am. I've been writing and drawing ever since I could walk—there is nothing else I'd rather do. My formal education, however, is focused on politics, philosophy, and economics because I've always been curious about the gap between the ideal and the real. At work, I'm a Senior Writer and I cover a broad range of topics that I'm passionate about: from psychology and changes in work culture to healthy living, relationships, and design. In my spare time, I'm an avid hiker and reader, enjoy writing short stories, and love to doodle. I thrive when I'm outdoors, going on small adventures in nature. However, you can also find me enjoying a big mug of coffee with a good book (or ten) and entertaining friends with fantasy tabletop games and sci-fi movies.

Justinas Keturka

Justinas Keturka

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

I'm the Visual Editor at Bored Panda, responsible for ensuring that everything our audience sees is top-notch and well-researched. What I love most about my job? Discovering new things about the world and immersing myself in exceptional photography and art.

Read less »

Justinas Keturka

Justinas Keturka

Author, BoredPanda staff

I'm the Visual Editor at Bored Panda, responsible for ensuring that everything our audience sees is top-notch and well-researched. What I love most about my job? Discovering new things about the world and immersing myself in exceptional photography and art.

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klynch4 avatar
Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So sleeping toucans may need to be added to my list of "adorable things to look at when I feel like I want to destroy the world when people annoy me." They are really fascinating and gorgeous creatures.

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klynch4 avatar
Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So sleeping toucans may need to be added to my list of "adorable things to look at when I feel like I want to destroy the world when people annoy me." They are really fascinating and gorgeous creatures.

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