Hot Toucan News

There's some exciting research coming out about toucans and why they have those big crazy bills. 20090724_toucanbeak

According to the research detailed today in the U.S. journal Science the toucan's beak may be a sort of thermal radiator, releasing body heat when the bird needs to cool down--kind of the way rabbits release heat through their ears. The photo above is supposed to show how hot that bill is compared to the rest of the body.

"By altering blood flow to the bill's surface, toucans can conserve body heat when it is cold, or cope with heat stress by increasing blood flow," said study lead author Glenn Tattersall of Brock University in Ontario, Canada.

You can view a video of the thermal temperature change here.