Channel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus)
Channel-billed Toucan, Caxiuanã, Pará, Brazil, November 2005 - click for larger image Caxiuanã, Pará, Brazil
November 2005

The Channel-billed Toucan is distributed throughout most of the Amazon Basin with a disjunct population in eastern Brazil. It is found in primary forest of various types but rarely seen in secondary growth.

Channel-billed Toucan, Caxiuanã, Pará, Brazil, November 2005 - click for larger image The taxonomy of this species is quite complicated but there seem to be 4 sub-species currently recognised. That said, recent research (Weckstein, J. D. 2004. "Biogeography explains cophylogenetic patterns in toucan chewing lice". Systematic Biology 53: 154-164) has found that the Amazonian sub-species P. v. ariel is only distantly related to the Atlantic Rain Forest P. v. ariel so maybe there is another sub-species about to be described.
Channel-billed Toucan, Caxiuanã, Pará, Brazil, November 2005 - click for larger image These photos are of the Amazonian P. v. ariel which at one stage was treated as a full species known in English as Ariel Toucan.
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