Interesting Photo of the Day: Down the Pelican’s Throat

Pelicans are terrifying creatures. They swallow everything whole—birds, fish, fellow baby pelicans in their first few years of life. After dying from suffocation, the eaten animals are slowly digested by the birds’ stomach acids.

But, hey, look how cool their mouths look in the sunlight!

light through a pelican's beak

(Via Imgur. Click image to see full size.)

That little fish is in the bird’s gular pouch, a huge batwing-like flap that can expand and contract. The goofy-looking birds also eat crabs, lobsters and lizards, along with common birds—even pigeons in cities. But fossil records indicate that pelicans have been around for roughly 40 million years, so the system seems to be working out for them. Nature is a strange and fascinating thing.

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