Zoological name: The well known species are the brown pelican
(Pelecanus occidentalis), the American white pelican (P.
erythrorhynccus), the dalmatian pelican (P. crispus), grey pelican
(P. philippensis) and rosy pelican (P. onocrotatus).
Distribution: Pelicans are distributed in temperate and tropical regions of the world. In India, three species namely rosy pelican, Dalmatian pelican and grey pelican are found.
Habitat: They are found on or near water bodies such as rivers lakes, mangrove swamps, lagoons and estuaries.
Physical feature: The body weight may reach up to 13 kg. Pelicans are characterized in having large wings, long beaks, small nostrils and pneumatic skeletons. All four toes are webbed. The most characteristic feature of the pelican is its large, bare and elastic pouch (gular). The throat pouch can hold food particles more than twice the stomach capacity. The pouch acts as a net for scooping up fish. It also serves as a cooling device.