toucan

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toucan

(to͞okăn`, to͞o`kän), perching bird of the New World tropics, related to the woodpeckers. Toucans vary in size from the jay-sized toucanets to the 24-in. (62-cm) tocos of the Amazon basin. They are notable for their enormous, often brightly colored, canoe-shaped bills, which consist of a lightweight porous substance covered by a horny shell with serrated edges. This bill is well adapted to cutting up the fruits and berries that form their diet. Most brilliantly plumaged are the aracaris and hill toucans of the mountain forests of South America. Toucans are gregarious and, like the woodpeckers, nest in cavities. Toucans are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Piciformes, family Rhamphastidae.

toucan

[′tü‚kan]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of numerous fruit-eating birds, of the family Ramphastidae, noted for their large and colorful bills.

Toucan

[′tü‚kan]
(astronomy)

toucan

any tropical American arboreal fruit-eating bird of the family Ramphastidae, having a large brightly coloured bill with serrated edges and a bright plumage