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  • Strategy

Pouch scoops and drains water: pink-backed pelican


Pelican / Andrew Warra.. / LicenseCC-by-nc-sa - Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

The beak of the pink-backed pelican is usd to scoop and drain water during feeding via an extendable throat pouch.

"The pink-backed pelican uses its distendable throat pouch as a fishing net, scooping fish and crustaceans from the water as it swims. When it opens its bill underwater, the sudden inflow of water carries the prey in with it. Then the pelican raises its head to drain out the water before swallowing the prey." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:157)
About the inspiring organism
Med_pinkbacked_pelican_495 Pink-backed Pelican
Pelecanus rufescens J. F. Gmelin, 1789

Habitat(s): Artificial - Aquatic, Forest, Grassland, Marine Coastal/Supratidal, Marine Intertidal, Marine Neritic, Wetlands
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_LC IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Ideas for sustainable fisheries management and gear; non-clogging drains, possibly with moveable parts, for urban sewers, stormwater management, swimming pools, showers, etc. See a design student's concept drawing in the gallery.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Fishing, fisheries, water management

Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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