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Are toucans related to woodpeckers?


They belong to different families, but the same order: the Piciformes. Woodpeckers make up about half of the 400 species of Piciformes, but toucans form a much smaller family of around 40 species. Woodpeckers and toucans share an arrangement of toes that have two pointing forward and two pointing back to help them grip branches. Piciformes are also unusual in not having down feathers, even as chicks. But belonging to the same order isn’t an especially close relationship. Toucans do use their huge beaks to reach into holes in hollow trees, but this is to steal eggs from other nests. They don’t drill through the bark and mostly eat fruit, unlike woodpeckers which are all insectivores.

Answered by Luis Villazon