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Why does the pelican have a bag in its beak?

It is commonly thought that the pelican uses the subjugular pouch of the beak to transport the fish. In fact, this membranous and very flexible sac serves as a net to capture and immobilize prey.

Out of the water, the bird throws the fish into the air, catches it in its beak, and swallows it. They also use the bag to regurgitate the semi-digested fish with which their young are fed and where they eagerly put their whole head on the return of their parents. For diving species, such as the diving brown pelican, the bag, which has a capacity of 12 liters, serves to absorb the fish that is in its path.

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