Pelican | Langkawi Wildlife Park

Pink-backed Pelican are among the smallest of pelican species in the world.

Pink-backed Pelicans have mostly grey plumage with a pinkish back and underparts. The pink color comes from a gland and is spread while preening. They are approximately 49 inches to 51 inches in length, with a bill of the length of 11 to 15 inches and a wingspan of 7 to 9.5 feet. Female pelicans are slightly smaller than males. Pink-backed Pelicans may live between 15 to 25 years in the wild and up to 54 years in captivity. 

While Pink-backed Pelicans hunt for food alone or in small groups, they roost and breed in flocks. Females lay 2 to 3 large white eggs and incubation lasts about 30 days. Young pelicans born naked but a down coat is growing soon. In order to feed the chicks, young pelicans plunge their heads deep into the parental throat pouch to take partially digesting regurgitated fish. Both parents will help to raise the young and young have several maturities at 3 to 4 years. 

Did you know that pelicans cannot sweat? So, when they get hot, they cool themselves by fluttering air over their moist skin on the inside of their throat pouches. Apart from that, their distinctive pouch is used as a fishing net and usually used for storing fish by squeezing the water out of the pouch and swallow the fish whole. Fascinating facts, the earliest known pelicans fossils date back 30 to 40 million years ago.

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