Just be thankful that no one’s relying on these GPS-enabled toucans for directions; I hear they don’t even get live traffic updates, if you can imagine. Instead, researchers are tracking the toucans and their spreading of seeds in tropical forests.
No, not that kind of seed. Seeds from nutmeg trees, which are springing up all around the Panama rainforest as toucans merrily munch the outer shell, scattering the leftover seeds as they go. Data discovered during the experiment includes the fascinating truth that toucans prefer eating-while-scattering in the morning, then are mostly stationery eaters at lunch, resuming their munching-while-making-mess in the afternoon.
Before you cry “animal cruelty!” the backpacks fitted to the toucans are extremely light, containing just a GPS tracker and accelerometer, and built to be temporary accessories that can dislodge themselves after a week’s wearing. Talk about a fast fashion season. [Science Direct via Wired]