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Pelican, common name for the species of a genus of large birds having a long, large, flattened bill, the upper mandible terminated by a strong hook that curves over the tip of the lower one. Beneath the lower mandible, a great pouch of naked skin is appended. The tongue is short and almost rudimentary. The face and throat are naked, the legs short, and the tail rounded. Pelicans may weigh up to 15 kg (33 lb), and the wings may span up to 3 m (10 ft).Pelicans are widely distributed over most warm regions, frequenting the shores of seas, lakes, and rivers, and feeding chiefly on fish. Scientific classification: Pelecanus