Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS IV.--PELECANUS, Linn. PELICAN.
Bill about thrice the length of the head, rather slender, almost straight,
depressed; upper mandible linear, depressed, convex at the base, gradually
flattened, and a little enlarged to near the end, when it narrows, and
terminates in a hooked point; ridge broad and convex at the base, gradually
narrowed and flattened beyond the middle, separated by a groove from the sides,
erect at the base, sloping towards the edges, edges very acute, with an internal
groove; lower mandible with the angle excessively long, extending to the unguis,
the sides erect and convex, the edges thin and involute, the tip decurved.
Nostrils basal, lateral, linear, concealed by the wrinkles of the skin. Head
small, oblong; neck long, stout; body full, rather flattened. Feet short, and
very stout; tarsus short, compressed, covered all round with hexagonal scales;
toes in the same plane, all connected by webs, first shortest, fourth longer
than third. Claws short, strong, curved, that of the third toe pectinate.
Feathers of head and neck exceedingly small, slender, downy; of the other parts
generally lanceolate and acuminate; wings very long, rather narrow, rounded;
primaries much curved. Tail short, broad, rounded, of more than sixteen
feathers. An enormous bare, extensile, gular sac; tongue extremely small,
papilliform; oesophagus excessively wide; proventricular glands arranged in
broad longitudinal series; stomach very small, with its muscular coat thin, its
epithelium smooth and soft; a globular pyloric lobe; intestine long and narrow;
coeca very small, cylindrical; cloaca globular.