How Do Pelicans Survive Their Death-Defying Dives?

Get ready to take the plunge! Science scholars go fishing with a brown pelican and see how it can withstand the impact of the water from a height of 40 feet. The narrator shows the birds in action and describes the physical adaptations that facilitate their flawless dives.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Pair the video with a lesson on avian anatomy
  • Compare the pelican's adaptations with those of other fishing bird species such as the kingfisher
Classroom Considerations
  • Review anatomical terms involving bones before watching the video
  • Shows each physical adaptation and describes them in detail
  • Underwater angles illustrate how pelicans capture prey while the pelican engages other body systems to slow down
  • None
Common Core