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toucan

Have you ever marvelled at the huge, colourful bill of a toucan? How would you like to fly around with a bill like that?

Actually, the toucan’s bill is a masterpiece of design, and works flawlessly at the jobs for which it is intended. First of all, it is built of a thin lightweight material with many air pockets in it, so it is not nearly as heavy as it appears. The bill works well for harvesting the fruits the bird eats, and even has saw-like edges for breaking off pieces of larger fruits!

But while the toucan is sleeping, what do you suppose it does with its long bill? Does it unzip it and lay it in the crotch of a tree (and wonder later where it left it)? Or, does it just sleep all night with its head hanging down below its feet? No — those are bad guesses.

Actually God had a better idea. He designed the toucan’s neck and back and bill so it can simply turn its head around, lay its bill down the centre of its back, and fold its tail up over its head! And the bill — which may be red, yellow, blue, green, white, brown or black (or some combination) — helps make a really impressive courtship display!

If you ever get to see one of the 40 different kinds of toucans in a zoo, observe it for a while. Notice particularly how easily it balances and moves its awkward-looking head.

Whether picking fruits, building its nest in a hollow tree, or flying through a tropical or subtropical forest of Central or South America — whatever it needs to do — the toucan can, because God designed it so!

Note

Used with permission from: Nature Friend magazine, December 1997, p. 33 (2727 T.R. 421, Sugarcreek, OH 44681, USA).