Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
FAMILY XLI.--PELECANINAE. PELECANS.
Bill longer than the head, rather slender, straight, upper mandible with
the ridge separated from the side by a groove, and terminated by a narrow,
generally decurved, pointed unguis; lower mandible with the crura elastic and
extensile, the angle very long and narrow. Nostrils basal, lateral, linear,
small, or obsolete. Space around and before the eye generally bare, as is a
portion of the gular sac. Head generally of moderate size, but various; neck
long; body elongated, rather slender. Feet short and stout; tibia bare at its
lower part; tarsus short, very stout, compressed, scaly or scutellate in front;
toes four, all connected by webs, and scutellate; first small, fourth longest.
Claws short, strong, curved, rather blunt, that of the third toe generally
pectinate. Plumage soft, blended, on the back compact and imbricated. Wings
long; tail of moderate length, narrow, rounded or tapering. Tongue extremely
small, triangular, fleshy; oesophagus excessively wide; a gular sac, sometimes
of enormous capacity; proventricular belt generally discontinuous; stomach very
small, slightly muscular, epithelium smooth; a lobular pyloric lobe; intestine
very long and slender; coeca small, cylindrical; cloaca globular. Trachea
simple, flattened; no inferior laryngeal muscles.