Flying rhinoceros

Buceros rhinoceros. Java, Indonesia. Circa 1833.

The rhinoceros hornbill can reach 90 centimeters in length and weigh nearly three kilograms, making it one of the largest representatives of the hornbill family. It is native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, far from human influence, where it feeds on fruit and hunts small lizards. Its most striking feature is its large, curved beak with a distinctive, bulging casque of light bone tissue. The tip of the beak is used like a finger to pluck fruit from the trees; the serrated edges are use to grasp and tear apart animal prey.

Hall xxxii

Photo: NHM Vienna, Lois Lammerhuber