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A pelican that looks like a urinal
January 16, 2013 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Go home, evolution, you're drunk. A photo of a pelican that looks like a urinal. Brought to you by WTF, Evolution?
posted by escabeche (54 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Uhm?
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:09 PM on January 16, 2013


If you have never had the grave misfortune to smell a pelican up close and personal then I envy you enormously.
posted by elizardbits at 6:10 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


If urinals evolved from pelicans, why are there still pelicans. Checkmate athiests.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:12 PM on January 16, 2013 [63 favorites]


It's a living.
posted by griphus at 6:13 PM on January 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


Peeinmymouthus Pelicanus.
posted by ORthey at 6:14 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's Duchamps Pelican (Pelecanus dada), which is also known for laying its eggs in sewing machines.
posted by Devonian at 6:15 PM on January 16, 2013 [26 favorites]


It would actually be Pelecanus peeinmymouthus.
posted by snofoam at 6:16 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know what? I can hold it until we get home.
posted by arcticseal at 6:17 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Reply to orthey, not Devonian)
posted by snofoam at 6:18 PM on January 16, 2013


What a marvelous bird, the pelican
Whose beak can hold more than his belly can
(And I frankly don't know how the hell he can)
posted by shakespeherian at 6:18 PM on January 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


A funny bird is the pelican
His beak can hold than his belly can
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:18 PM on January 16, 2013


Obviously hoping for a handout via trickle-down fish-o-nomics.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:18 PM on January 16, 2013


Scooped!
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:19 PM on January 16, 2013


Sorry snofoam, I'm rusty on my fake Latin binomials.
posted by ORthey at 6:20 PM on January 16, 2013


I think there's some debate whether P. peeinmymouthus and P. dada are actually separate species, given the lack of morphological evidence.
posted by Devonian at 6:20 PM on January 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's Duchamps Pelican (Pelecanus dada), which is also known for laying its eggs in sewing machines.

R. Mutt? That thing is clearly a bird, not a dog! Ugghhh, artists these days. My five year old could more accurately distinguish a dog and some water fowl that looks like it belongs in the public lavatory!
posted by sendai sleep master at 6:22 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think, technically, it's Pelecanus rmuttii.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:23 PM on January 16, 2013


A dog? Are you saying it's a chien on the loo?
posted by Devonian at 6:26 PM on January 16, 2013 [46 favorites]


It would actually be Pelecanus peeinmymouthus.

lol anus.
posted by odinsdream at 6:27 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


* begins slow clap for Devonian *
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 PM on January 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, let's get this right, folks:

THE PLIGHT OF THE PELICAN - Ogden Nash

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican;
He takes in his beak enough food for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
posted by misha at 6:46 PM on January 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


6 posts, all today. Really?
posted by unliteral at 7:03 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


"6 posts, all today. Really?"

There's a tremendous backlog of evolutionary wtfs to catalog!
posted by Matt Oneiros at 7:06 PM on January 16, 2013


That's how you put the P in Pelican.
posted by azpenguin at 7:08 PM on January 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Hopefully this Tumblr blog will quickly evolve into something with more than 6 vestigial posts.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:15 PM on January 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


He's obviously waiting for someone to throw him a tasty urinal cake.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:45 PM on January 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


This here thread is a very fine thread, indeed.
posted by item at 7:51 PM on January 16, 2013


This is actually a common variety of pelican in Australia and another of our famously dangerous fauna. It camouflages itself in pub toilets, waiting for drunk men to visit, when it snaps its beak down to tear off the membrum virile of its sozzled victim, then tossing it gently in the air before gobbling it down.

Quirky stuff, nature.
posted by elephantday at 8:09 PM on January 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is true. Here is a pelican in action in Sydney... probably a female.

And, proving there is a website for everything: Showcasing the World's largest collection of urinal photographs ever assembled, Urinal Dot Net is the best place to piss away your time on the Internet.
posted by Mezentian at 8:17 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


i did my bachelor's degree in pokémon science and i would say that specimen is about to evolve into a clawfoot tub
posted by threeants at 8:18 PM on January 16, 2013 [20 favorites]


Mom!
posted by R. Mutt at 8:18 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am losing my shit over this and my S.O. thinks I am deeply weird. Thank you!
posted by Scientist at 8:19 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


“I’m not sure we’re done with this fiddler crab yet.”

“Don’t be such a perfectionist, evolution, it’s good enough.”

“But the claws are totally different sizes, don’t you think people will notice?”

“Dude, it’s fine, let’s go make some birds with funny butt feathers.”

GUYS I AM LOSING IT OVER HERE
posted by Scientist at 8:22 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somehow this reminds me of Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table but for evolution
posted by mattoxic at 8:39 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't wait to see what happens when they find out about nudibranches.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:20 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


What's so odd about nudibranches? Is it the frills? The spots? The garish colors? What?
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:41 PM on January 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, it's the eyestalks, isn't it.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:42 PM on January 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


This tumblr needs more posts. NOW.
posted by Gordafarin at 2:49 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not impressed. The design of that pelican's beak is utilitarian, as is a urinal's.

Pelicans scoop up fish with that thing. Clearly, in the photo, it is fully distended--possibly by wind? At any rate its shape is based on physics.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:56 AM on January 17, 2013


Well, by physics and evolutionary constraints, yeah. You can't just get any damn thing through evolution (though this blog would seem to indicate otherwise) because you are always going to be somewhat restricted by your starting material. (Having good starting material that facilitates the evolution of an adaptation is sometimes called "exaptation".)

This is why bat wings are not as efficient as bird wings, for instance -- they didn't have feathers in their evolutionary heritage, and fur isn't as suitable for fairing out wings as feathers are, so their wings aren't quite as efficient.

Anyway though yeah I actually thought the pelican was the weakest example of bizarre evolution on the page. I like the walrus best, but mainly because I am a huge softie for walrus, with their tiny mad eyes and their tusks and their whiskers and their thousands of pounds of furious armored blubber.

That pignose frog is probably the one that looks like it has the most reason to be angry at God, though. Or, you know, at Evolution. Which I think it is sort of problematic from an educational standpoint to anthropomorphize, but I still think this blog is hilarious and hope it continues.
posted by Scientist at 5:03 AM on January 17, 2013


How is my plate of beans, did you ask? Why it's delicious, now let me overthink it for a while anyway.
posted by Scientist at 5:04 AM on January 17, 2013


Please meet my Elican. Notice there is no P in it. I would like to keep it that way!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:39 AM on January 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Plight of the Pelican" was authored by Dixon Lanier Merritt, "is often misattributed to Ogden Nash and is widely misquoted[. . . .]"
posted by mistersquid at 7:06 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a star-nosed mole there too. I found one as a young kid in North Jersey, near a lake. It was one of the high points of my life as a budding biologist.
posted by Mister_A at 7:45 AM on January 17, 2013


Benny Andajetz: "A funny bird is the pelican
His beak can hold than his belly can
"

You needed to finish it.

But I don't know how the hell he can.

Just sayin'
posted by Samizdata at 8:18 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are there any funny poems about Pelicans out there?
posted by bongo_x at 10:01 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. I've apparently never seen a picture of the inside of a pelican beak before. I imagined their throat opening to be many times larger, which is irrational based on the size of their neck. What do they do if they scoop up a really big fish?
posted by Fig at 10:35 AM on January 17, 2013


That's not a urinal, it's a fish toilet.
posted by sneebler at 10:37 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


To answer my own question, from Wikipedia

Large fish are caught with the bill-tip, then tossed up in the air to be caught and slid into the gullet head-first. A gull will sometimes stand on the pelican's head, peck it to distraction, and grab a fish from the open bill.

According to Wiki, some pelicans also eat pigeons. yikes.
posted by Fig at 10:40 AM on January 17, 2013


mistersquid: "Plight of the Pelican" was authored by Dixon Lanier Merritt, "is often misattributed to Ogden Nash and is widely misquoted[. . . .]"

The hell you say. Wow, I always thought it was Nash's work.
posted by misha at 3:50 PM on January 17, 2013


Ogden Nash is the Wierd "Al" Yankovich [sic] of light verse.
posted by griphus at 5:02 PM on January 17, 2013


So for those looking for more pictures and info on the pignose frog, it's helpful to know that it's also known by the name "purple frog."

And, well, the image on WTF Evolution isn't the half of it with this species.

Basically, what I'm trying to say here is oh my god look at its butt it is so big.

Also, apparently it's a living fossil, having split from the rest of the amphibians about 130 million years ago and not changed much since. Evolution made the pignose frog and then thought, "yeah, I'm not going to do anything to that one. It's fine the way it is."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:50 PM on January 17, 2013


I can’t believe it’s so round, it’s like out there, I mean, gross.
posted by bongo_x at 5:59 PM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, maybe it's because I grew up in Florida; but unlike many folks here, apparently, I've seen this sort of thing before and I'm not surprised at this picture. I feel compelled to expand on what kinnakeet mentioned: normally, the pelican's lower beak is more, shall we say, discreet, but it can expand to hold fish when necessary. So sure, the bird in the OP's link looks weird, but the beak doesn't STAY like that all the time ...no matter what its mother says about what'll happen if it keeps holding its face like that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:51 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


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