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The Ultimate Pelican Bill vs. Belly Quiz
by Staff
The pelican is an awkward looking bird with an incredibly long bill and a pouch. Take this quiz to find our more about that curious pouch and how it's used.

What is the most distinctive feature of the pelican?

  • wingspan
  • pouch under jaw
  • long beak

How many species of pelicans are there?

  • seven or eight
  • 10 or 11
  • 12 to 14

How much can a large pelican weigh?

  • 10 pounds (4.55 kilograms)
  • 20 pounds (9 kilograms)
  • 30 pounds (13.61 kilograms)

On which continent do pelicans not live?

  • Asia
  • Antarctica
  • Australia

Why is the brown pelican unusual?

  • dive headfirst into the water to feed
  • swoop down and snatch fish with their claws
  • stand on one leg

How do most other pelicans hunt fish?

  • by chasing the fish until they are tired
  • by grabbing them with their claws
  • by herding them into shallow water and scooping them up

What distinguishes pelicans from other species of bird?

  • six toes
  • four webbed toes
  • two large webbed toes

What is another distinctive feature?

  • breath through their mouths
  • 270 degree field of vision
  • teeth in upper jaw

What is the hook at the end of the upper mandible (jaw) used for?

  • feeding its young
  • essential part of courting
  • grabbing slippery fish

After scooping up fish, what does the pelican have to do before eating?

  • kills the fish
  • empties water from pouch
  • creates vacuum in pouch to avoid swallowing air

What does a pelican do with a particularly large fish?

  • maneuvers fish to go down head first
  • splits fish in half with its hook
  • squeezes fish until its bones break then swallows it

Which pelican has the largest bill?

  • Dalmatian pelican
  • Australian pelican
  • Texas blue-breast pelican

Which has a greater capacity, the pouch or stomach?

  • stomach
  • pouch
  • about the same

What is the capacity of the pouch?

  • 1 gallon (3.78 liters)
  • 2 gallons (7.56 liters)
  • 3 gallons (11.36 liters)

Do pelicans eat anything besides fish?

  • mostly fish and other water creatures
  • eat anything they find
  • only fish

What caused some species of pelicans in the U.S. to dwindle?

  • polluted drinking water
  • pesticides harmed the eggs
  • too much hunting

How does a pelican become a victim of piracy?

  • The pelican with a pouch full of water and fish can be knocked off balance and have the fish snatched.
  • A bird can peck the pelican on the head and grab a fish when the pelican protests.
  • During the process of emptying water from the pouch, the bill is open.

What do pelicans do during courtship?

  • The males bring offerings of fish.
  • Males flap their pouches and clap their bills.
  • Females and males rub pouches together.

Where does the pelican store excess food?

  • stomach
  • recess in the pouch
  • esophagus

How do pelicans feed baby chicks?

  • cut up fish with their hooks
  • regurgitate partially digested fish
  • seek out small fish