The Toucan’s family, Ramphastidae is closely related to the American barbets. These Neotropic birds are easily distinguishable because of their brightly colored bills and bodies.
Naturally, most of the bird’s adaptations to its physical environment are related to its physical structure, which in itself is quite amazing for a bird.
It is a short compact bird; the tail is round, sometimes half the length of their bodies, sometimes as long, and their necks are short and thick, almost nonexistent. As they are forest dwellers they do not need large wings to fly, and are therefore small winged, and have short strong legs with colorful bills.
Their large colorful bills are an adaptation that allows them to eat large bits of food. Although they are considered frugivoros (fruit eating), when there are no fruits they will are omnivorous. Their diet consists of mainly fruits, bird eggs, rodents, reptiles, insects, and other weaker birds.
They also have a claw on each leg; two claws in the front and two claws at the back, which steady them when they stand on trees.
Its colorful feathers are an excellent camouflage in the backdrop of the rainforest. Their feathers change color so that they can easily blend in without becoming prey to humans and big cats, their worst enemy being the jaguar.
The bright colors on their beaks and the ‘flash colors’ underneath their wings are also for communication, as when they need to, instead of blending in, they can stand out.
These birds are also very noisy. This helps them to distract their predators and escape (their strong legs allow them to easily grip the branches of trees as they hop away.
They live inside little holes in trees, and if they are unable to fit into a hole, they adapt by curling up into little balls, which allow them to fit snugly into the tree hole.