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Toucan's Beak Intrigues Engineers

By Edited Mar 27, 2014 1 0

Toucans are residents of Central and South American. Although they do not fly well, they have many things that are amazing. One of the most amazing things to consider about the toucan is the construction of their nose or beak. It takes up more than a third of their total body length. That is merely a minor accomplishment for these brilliant beaks.

The surface of a toucan's beak is made from the same material as is found in hair and fingernails on people, keratin. This is layered in small nearly microscopic hexagonal plates that overlap in a manner similar to shingles being placed on a roof. That alone makes it an engineering marvel. The amazement does not stop there.

The texture and consistency of the toucan's beak is like that of an incredibly hard sponge. Parts of it are hollow, and others are made of varying beams and membranes. Due to this design, the lightweight beak has an unexpected amount of strength. There are mechanical engineers that would love to evaluate this layout.

Due to the design of their beak, the toucan can absorb termendous impacts. Scientists believe the beak of the toucan can be used as a model for aviation and automotive engineers. By creating the exterior paneling of either an aireplane or car with similar design, it may serve to better protect those who ride inside.

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