Pelecanus Linn, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., i, p. 132 (1758).
Type by taut., Pelecanus onocrocotalus Linn.
In this genus the upper mandible is depressed ; narrower and less flattened at the base, broader and more flattened towards the end; the upper mandible is composed of a median bar, convex externally, continuing the whole length of the bill and terminating in a strongly-hooked nail, whilst the two lateral portions are each marked off from the median bar by a narrow but distinct groove, in the base of which is situated the small nostril. The lower mandible is thin and consists of two flexible rami supporting a large pouch, of naked membrane. The wings are broad but not long or pointed; tail short and nearly square: tarsus compressed and reticulate in front.
Three species occur in India, one of which is represented by two races.
Key to Species.
A. Feathers of forehead terminate in a point…………….... P. onocrocotalus, p. 271.
B. Feathers of forehead end in front in a transverse concave line.
a. Wing over 640 mm.; culmen over 360 mm……………..P. crispus, p. 273.
b. Wing under 630 mm.; culmen under 360 mm……………..P. philippensis, p. 274.