Temporal range: Late Cretaceous–Recent, 65.5–0Ma
|Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)|
|Global Distribution of the Pelecaniformes.|
The Pelecaniformes is a order of medium-sized and large waterbirds. They are found worldwide. As traditionally—but wrongly—defined, they include all birds that have feet with four toes which are all webbed. Most have a bare throat patch (gular patch). Their nostrils have evolved into slits which do not work properly. This causes them to breathe through their mouths. They feed on fish, squid or similar marine life. The young are altricial. They hatch from the egg helpless and naked in most cases. They lack a brood patch.