Oct. 28, 2022

Toco Toucan

Toco Toucan

This podcast episode we talk about the Toucan! Relax, unwind, and join me in the tropical forests of South America, where we learn all about this striking and long-billed bird.

This podcast episode we talk about the Toucan! Relax, unwind, and join me in the tropical forests of South America, where we learn all about this striking and long-billed bird.

To contact Stef Wolfe you can:



If you would like to learn more, the resources used in this episode are listed below:


For exclusive content like the Extinct and Mythical Animal Mini-Series, go to the Patreon by clicking here.


Rock some awesome podcast-themed merch by clicking here.


You can also check out informative blog posts on relaxwithanimalfacts.com/blog.

Get Bonus Content on Patreon

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


hello everyone welcome back to relax with animal facts I am Steph wolf and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case it is going to be a feathery friend of ours because we are covering the %HESITATION so wonderful toco toucan full disclosure I am not sure if I am getting sick or not because my voice is kind of going in and out but to the show must go on this podcast episode is dedicated to Ralph who is part of the family of V. V. and Lovie and also to Kimberly I hope you enjoy your very own podcast episode and I thank you for requesting such an awesome animal for how to request your very own animal and to get access to all of the resources that were used in this episode you can go to the show notes or the description and I will also talk about it at the end of the episode if you love the show and want more of it including exclusive episodes you can go to patrie on dot com slash relax with animal facts and now we're going to start to slow down just a little bit before we start our trek I just have two things that I must ask of you the first thing I ask is that you double knowledge your shoe laces we are going to need it for this track and the second maybe more important thing is for you to try to the best of your ability to embody maybe cello we all Kerry tension day today maybe in our shoulders or in her head but we really do not need all of that to where we are going and so I encourage you to do your best S. to relax your body blood allow your mind to join me and to wander off with me into the tropical forests of South America so we can explore together the wonderful animals that is the toco toucan listen to that call as we can hear the crunching of sticks beneath her feet I can think of no better accompaniment than that of the toco toucans Cole now many of us have likely heard of A. two can maybe if there are particular mascots that come to mind or some other famous representation but the reason we are specifying the toco toucan is because there are more than forty species of two cans the one that we're covering today just happens to be the one that we most associate with that word two can there are other toucan birds that have names like the R. recovery or the to connect and the one thing that really brings them all together in this family or community is that the sport this large and comically large bill when compared with the rest of their body this bill is one that sticks out like a sore thumb so for the majority of this episode I will likely referred to this bird as the toco and when I do so just know that I am referring of course to the toco toucan and not to some other completely separate species so the toco is the largest of the two cans and the best known it has their very large oversized maybe some would say colorful bill that made it one of the world's most popular birds if you are from the west like IBM you likely associate the toco with a particular serial Bray N. or with some other commercial mascot so this bird is not only beloved by individual people but also seemingly by large conglomerates and such is their charm that they can sell serial like nobody's business now let's go to the scientific name the common name is of course the toco toucan but the scientific name is ram Fastow's Toko now sometimes these scientific names can give me some sort of Latin hint or Greek hint and by those little markers we can tell the etymology of certain words but in this case I have no idea what ram Fastow's means and I could not find anything on the internet to this effect so their scientific name is a cool one but I have no idea what it means the Tokyo will weigh about two pounds or twenty ounces or from a UK listeners just a little bit over half a kilo and they will grow up to twenty five inches long but their bill will account for nearly half of that length we're talking about the bills that are often a minimum of seven and a half inches long for a creature that weighs only about two pounds how is it that they can have not only a somewhat large body I guess relative to their weight but also be sporting this huge bill there are some Guinea pigs who weigh more than the toco and yet the toco is towering over them in terms of height or length this is because of a characteristic that is peculiar to most birds and that is hollow bones me and do you have a skeletal system that is like why is comprised of bone's connected to each other but our school legal system just our %HESITATION frame weighs a lot more when compared proportionally to that of most birds that is because we have a varying bone density our phones are not at all hello and bone densities can vary from individual to individual and so what hollow bones give the toco and likewise many other bird species the ability to do is to fly with a relative ease if they had proportionally similar bone densities to us they would not be able to leave the ground this is what allows creatures like the flamingo for example which is a very tall bird to be six to eight pounds on the heavy side the Tokyo has beautiful feathers that compose a striking plumage with a mostly black body a white throat chest and a curtail cupboards and a pleasant surprise of red underneath those tail cover it's they have what looks like a blue iris that is actually just a piece of thin blue skin around there hi that blue skin is been surrounded by a nother ring of bare orange skin our company being this beautiful display of colors is of course their signature bill that will be somewhere between a yellow and orange in color with a black bass and a large spot on the tip of the tongue that is hidden inside that comically large bill is nearly as long as the bill is and will be very flat now researchers are still a bit confounded as to why they have such a large colorful bills from a pragmatic standpoint it doesn't seem all that necessary they postulate that may be while the purpose isn't clear it could have something to do with courtship work with self defense but with a little bit of observation or prodding it is seen that their bill is more show than it is for defense they don't work as a weapon any more than maybe a honeycomb of keratin would be a weapon keratin is the same substance that our fingernails are made out of for example it is also the same substance that makes up much of horns in other creatures and so using an airy and light weight honey comb for self defense is not going to fare very well and so this creature's bill falls into a category which seems to confound some researchers I in cases like this choose not to go the very rationalistic route in trying to find the exact explanation but rather to indulge in the whimsy of it all the fact that current scientific understanding can not reach a consensus as to why this creature has such a comically large bill is almost as awesome as the bill itself you would think that the creature with such a conspicuous bill would have been equally conspicuous reason for having that bill but in the case of the toco we can just indulge in the Windsor and simply enjoy the fact that they do but this large bill also serves a regulatory purpose the toco can regulate the flow of blood to its bill which will allow the bird to use it as a way to distribute heat away from its body this is a very peculiar mechanism to the telco at least on the birds that we have covered so far on the show this is an amazing ability that allows them to control those pro sissies we often call autonomic or the ones that happen automatically but the toco takes their own blood regulation and heat regulation into its own hands the bill is also used as a feeding tool of course they will use them to reach fruit on the branches that are simply too small to support their weight and the bill also supports these serrated edges that are very useful for things like peeling fruit to get to the sweetness inside that will come in handy when they are trying to eat their regular diet of figs oranges and guavas but maybe that serrated edge can play somewhat available in there eating of insects and eggs and nestlings of other young birds the toco is often times seen in pairs or in small groups they are diurnal which means they will do the majority of their eating and flying around during the daytime and during a typical day in this beautiful tropical forest in South America they will fly with an alternating of rapid flaps and the colliding now once they are on the tree canopy that they wish to be on they will typically move around by hopping this is indicative of many other bird species though there are birds that don't hop but rather walk do this by people movement seems to mostly be relegated to birds that are large or flightless as we heard in the beginning of the show they have an ability to be quite vocal and they do this in order of course to communicate just like as human beings we communicate with one another the Tokyo does the same thing maybe not with the complex sentences that we use but they certainly have their ways they will use a variety of coals and employing their deep course croaking they will make a pattern of repetition every few seconds maybe even sprinkling in some rattling calls or some bill clacking to spice it up their calls are often compared to the croaking of frogs another article describes it as mainly grunting and snorting sounds and so this racket that they grace the tropical forest with seems to me to be pretty unique at least to the birds that die here on a regular basis the reason the toco can often be seen in pairs is because like many other birds they are monogamous this means that they have a single partner for the entirety of their life their breeding season is in spring time but will differ slightly depending on the region when they create their nests they will place them very high up in a tree consisting of some kind of cavity in that tree these cavities are often excavated or made larger by the parent %HESITATION it's themselves and so these little archaeologists create a dig though not to find the relics of the past but to bring into the world something precious which is a newly born Toko they will also sometimes nest in earth banks and terrestrial termites nests but wherever they choose to mess they will they two to four eggs that being female a few days after mating the eggs are then incubated by both the parents and the hatch after seventeen to eighteen days that word incubated may be it is the first time you're hearing such a word well if the word comes from a Latin word that means to live in or upon and so in the strictest sense when we speak about these eggs being incubated by the parent to toe codes we mean that the mom and dad Toko are literally lying upon their ethics this is what keeps them warm and keeps them active at optimal temperature for growth in property development and so we need not be intimidated by fancy terms when you think incubate in terms of the wild that is what it refers to the airborne completely helpless and are dependent on the mom and dad Toko and it will be in this completely dependent state for forty three to fifty two days after hatching they will reach reproductive maturity from between three to four years of age the parent telcos are very protective of their checks and for good reason they are often preyed upon by other large birds of prey large cats and also we zoals snakes and rats the weasels snakes and rats are the ones who tried to steal the eggs from the nest whenever they can one last little fact before the fact of their name is that with these bills they will spar with one another once in a while one last fact before we get to the name of the show is maybe what two cans do for fun they seem to like to spar with their bills chase one another brand play tag and cold to one another and this is what provides them some down time while they are allowing the fruit that they have eaten to digest it can take up to seventy five minutes for the toco to fully digest their food so having these little play times are a great way to pass the time while those oranges fix or qualifies are digesting and now let's move on to the final fact of the episode which is the name where does the name come from or what does it mean well today we are covering the name to can I could not find anything to do with toco or toco toucan and so we are going to focus on that broad stroke distinction that comprises more than forty species to Kim it is used to describe a brightly colored birds of South America from as early as the fifteen sixties it goes through French and in Spanish two P. which is a dialect in Brazil and these words into P. R. to koha and to Canada we can see how close those or to our modern English words and pronunciation and it is said that the formation of this word was likely an imitation of its coal sometimes animals get their names from these intimations of people around them and that is a wonderful thing there is a constellation called to Canada that was one of the eleven constellations added to Ptolemy's list in the sixteen hands by a Flemish cartographer so our modern usage seems to be that of about five hundred years old starting in the fifteen sixties but the beginning of this word seems to have been given to us by a population in Brazil that was likely imitating the call of the two can I now let us move on to the review portion of the show this review is coming from the deal one who writes all the way from the United States of America and video rates I appreciate the unique approach this podcast uses to not only relax us but educate us I love learning about animals and nature and always learn interesting and important information every time I tuned in please continue the great work your enthusiasm and professionalism is outstanding I would love to listen to you spotlight the diamondback Terrapins and it seems like this was actually written by Nick Locke Lydia who wrote in from Minnesota thank you Mick for the very kind words and for a great suggestion of a diamond back terrapin there are so many kind words that Nick wrote that I can only just say thank you for being a listener and for taking the time to leave this review in terms of the unique approach there is something funny to be said about the unique approach that to this podcast takes to education and relaxation because I knew of no other podcast with this kind of format it felt as if I was treading some new ground and I did not know exactly how to do it it seems to me that it took a lot of trial and error it took a lot of one star reviews and other sorts of very critical feedback and of course the loyal listenership of all of you to get to the podcast to where it is now and I can only look forward now to the future of more podcast episodes with you guys and with making the show better if you want to leave a review like Nick did you can even feel free to leave her animals suggestion there as many of you are doing it is one of the best ways for you to give back to the show possibly get your very own episode and to help the show get better I have so enjoyed learning about the two cats one thing that strikes me is that regardless of a creature being very bombastic in terms of its colors or extravagantly colored creatures like the two can or ones that maybe we would consider more mundane or ordinary like the worm both have so many secrets hidden underneath so many things that make them utterly Q. leader and beautiful animals that it makes learning about what we once considered common to be extravagant and exciting the Tokyo did not disappoint and I hope that you enjoyed learning about them as much as I did if you would like to request an animal and to get your very own episode you can send a direct message to relax with animal facts on Instagram by going to the relax with animal facts dot com website and clicking on the animal request tab or by emailing relax with animal facts at the G. mail dot com all of the resources used today are in the description and did they come from National Geographic dot com animalia dot the bio the animal facts dot com and at him online dot com if you would like more episodes including exclusive episodes from our animal mini series that are only available on P. Treon you can go to page three on dot com slash relax with animal facts or just click on the link to do with patron in the description thank you all for joining me on our trek into this beautiful and lush tropical forest I hope that you will join me on the next podcast episode with the next animal take care