Science volume 325, issue 5939, P468-470 2009 DOI: 10.1126/science.1175553
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Glenn J. Tattersall, Denis V. Andrade, Augusto S. Abe
Abstract:

The toco toucan (Ramphastos toco), the largest member of the toucan family, possesses the largest beak relative to body size of all birds. This exaggerated feature has received various interpretations, from serving as a sexual ornament to being a refined adaptation for feeding. However, it is also a significant surface area for heat exchange. Here we show the remarkable capacity of the toco toucan to regulate heat distribution by modifying blood flow, using the bill as a transient thermal radiator. Our res…

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