Birds are the colorful and hopeful creature of God. Pelican is among one of them. The long beak, beautiful white feathers, thin legs, bright eyes, and large throat make it worth seeing. Pelicans belong to the genus of large water birds and the family Pelecanidae. The beautiful large throat of Pelicans helps them to snag the prey and clear out the water. Pelicans are among the heaviest flying birds in the world.
The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.Albert Einstein
One of the interesting characteristics of Pelicans is that they can drag their spine out of their mouths. Now the question which came to mind is, why do they drag their spine out of their mouth? The answer is fascinating and shocking. When the pelicans get overheated, they then drag their spine out of their mouth to cool themselves.
Mechanism of cooling
The whole mechanism is that they open their mouth because, in this way, they cool themselves insides as well as outsides. This process is gular fluttering. And in extreme heat conditions, they will drag their span out of their mouths. This mechanism seems to be really demented. And also, it is similar to the mechanism they use to yawn.
The evolution of Pelicans is exciting. The earliest pelican species to be found was a 30 million-year-old skull in Oligocene deposits of France. And now there are eight living species of pelicans found everywhere. But the important feature is their pouched throat due to which they are famous. Their feed facts are also really amazing. They don’t just eat fish. But also eat amphibians, crustaceans, turtles, and different other birds. They are cannibalistic as they eat as long as it can fit down their throat.
“A wonderful bird is pelican
His beak can hold more than its belly can
He can hold in his beak enough for a week.
But I’ll be damned if I can see how the helican.”
The rhyme is beautiful but not accurate. Actually, pelicans use the gular pouch for catching food and not store it for long periods. With the help of expansion and contraction of their flexible sacs and the lower jawbones, they can bow outwards. And the birds use these sacs as fishing nets. When the pelican captures the prey, it then quickly drains the remaining water coming with it.
Arrival of Horns
Another amazing feature of American white pelicans is that when the breeding season of American white pelicans arrives, a big, flat, yellow, or orange “horn” becomes visible on the upper bills of sexually mature birds. At the end of the breeding season, the old horns fall off. And they are reinstated by the new ones the following season.
The brown pelican
The brown pelicans have their own specialty as they are the keen-eyed predator. They can see the fish swimming in the water, even flying 60 feet above. Once they see the prey, they plunge into the sea- bill at high speed. And when they capture the prey, then scrape it up in the gular pouch. Although it is a hazardous method, pelicans have certain adaptations to prevent them from any injury. They stiffed their muscles while diving. Because in this way, they protect their neck vertebrae. When they dive, their forward momentum slows as the air sacs under the skin inflate. And also, the gular pouch behaves like an airbag. This is all due to practice. The young pelicans at first struggle while diving, but with the passage of time, they learn how to dive successfully.
Aren’t the pelicans amazingly beautiful? If you know about some more amazing creatures like pelicans, let me know in the comment.