A lifespan of 20 years is typically seen in wild toco toucans with a maximum recorded lifespan of 26 years. In captivity, this species of toucan often has a shorter lifespan of approximately 18 years. Toco toucans that have been raised in captivity often experience iron-storage disease, which is sometimes referred to as hemochromatosis. This disease can lead to an uncomfortable life of the toucan involving emaciation, dyspnea, and feather picking and may eventually lead to the death of the bird. Since the diet of toco toucans is primarily fruits, which involves a low intake of iron, they have seemed to develop very iron-absorbent organs. When a toxic amount of iron builds-up within the liver of the bird due to the high-iron diet that many of these captive toucans are fed, the iron-storage disease occurs.
Status: wild: 26 years.
Status: wild: 20 years.
Status: captivity: 18 years.
- Drews, A., S. Redrobe, J. Patterson-Kane. 2004. Successful reduction of hepatocellular hemosiderin content by dietary modification in toco toucans (Ramphastos toco) with iron-storage disease. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 18: 101-105.
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