This species presents sexual dimorphism, which means that males and females can be differentiated by external characteristics. The males have a large yellow tubercle on the beak and bright black plumage with white belly and grayish legs. There is a polymorphism for females. There are three types of females: white head and neck with lists; black head and reddish-brown plumage; and black head and dark brown plumage. All with rufa tail with white stripes, yellowish beak and white legs. Great curassows average 91 cm long and weigh between 4.5 and 5 kg.
They are a monogamous species. They reproduce between February and June. They build nests in trees between 3 and 6 m high. The female lays 2 eggs that incubate for 32 days. The chicks spend a year with their parents.
They walk on the forest floor in search of food such as fallen fruits and sometimes dig for seeds, nuts, berries, fruits and small animals.
From eastern Mexico throughout Central America, to western Colombia and northwest Ecuador.
They live in dry and deciduous forests and humid forests. They prefer primary forests and can be found up to 1,200 m.
Hunting, deforestation and fragmentation.
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable. Declining population trend.