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Body protected from diving impact: brown pelican


Pacific brown pelican / Alan and Ela.. / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

The body of the brown pelican is protected from impact during plunge-diving thanks to subcutaneous air-sacs.

"Several species of pelicans, boobies, and gannets have extensive subcutaneous air sacs.6,18 In the plunge-diving brown pelicans these air sacs are thought to serve as shock absorbers to decrease the impact of hitting water from great heights.6" (Fowler and Miller 2003:118)

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About the inspiring organism
Med_divingpacificbrownpelican Brown Pelican
Pelecanus occidentalis Linnaeus, 1766
Common name: Brown pelican

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: Reduce vibration on tools, reduce impact strain in cars.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Building, automotive

Fowler, ME; Miller, RE. 2003. Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.
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