R. vigil Skull Replica or Helmeted Hornbill measures 8.3 inches. Helmeted Hornbill Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane cast. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw)

The R. vigil or Helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) is a very large bird in the hornbill family. The body length is 43 to 47 in., not counting the tail feathers, which boost the length a further 20 in.

R. vigil or Helmeted hornbill is found on the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Thailand and Myanmar.

The casque accounts for some 11% of its 3 kg weight. Unlike any other hornbill, the casque is almost solid, and is used in head-to-head combat among males.

R. vigil or Helmeted hornbill has mostly blackish plumage, except the belly and legs are white and the tail is white with a black band near the tip of each feather. The tail is long and the two central tail feathers are much longer than the others, giving the bird a total length greater than that of any other hornbill species.

This species has a bare, wrinkled throat patch, pale blue to greenish in females and red in males.

The casque goes from the base of the bill halfway to the tip, where it ends abruptly. It and the bill are yellow; the red secretion of the preen gland covers the sides and top of the casque and the base of the bill, but often leaves the front end of the casque and the distal half of the bill yellow.

Their call is two parts, the first consisting of a series of loud, intermittent barbet-like hoots, sometimes double-toned and over two dozen in number, which sound like a “toop” or “took” noise.

These hoots gradually accelerates to climax in a cackle reminiscent of laughter; this is thought to advertise information about the caller, such as age, size, and fitness, to listening conspecifics. The calls are audible up to 2-3 km away and can go on for minutes at a time.

R. vigil or Helmeted hornbills mostly eat the fruit of strangler figs. They are thought to be territorial and monogamous, although little is known about their social behavior.

The birds breed once a year, producing a single chick. Mother and chick live inside a sealed tree cavity for the first five months of the chick’s life. Their specialized nesting behavior makes them particularly vulnerable to poaching and deforestation.

Males fight over territory on the wing, ramming each other with their casques. Such encounters are called aerial jousting. Females accompany males during an approach in an aerial joust but veer off in opposite directions during the collision.

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