Main Page



Parque Nacional Iguazu


Make Nikon D300
Lens Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G   at 448 mm
Exposure 1/500 s, f/32, ISO 1400 
Image size 800 x 534 pixels

IOC Names

Order  Piciformes   Family  Ramphastidae

Deutsch  Riesentukan Dutch  Reuzentoekan
Italian  Tucano toco Spanish  Tucán Toco


The Toco Toucan, the largest member of the toucan family, possesses the largest beak relative to body size of all birds. Its bill has a network of superficial blood vessels supporting the horny ramphoteca at the tip of the upper bill, providing a significant surface area for heat exchange. The capacity of the toco toucan to regulate heat distribution by modifying blood flow was shown using infrared measurements on different regions of the bird's body. It appears that toucan's bill is, relative to its size, one of the largest thermal windows in the animal kingdom, rivaling elephants’ ears in its ability to radiate body heat.


  All photos are copyright protected. No use without express consent. Authors are grateful for comments.

Toco Toucan
Ramphastos toco
Toucan toco