Family XLI. PELECANINAE. PELECANS.
GENUS III. TACHYPETES, Vieill. FRIGATE-BIRD
Bill longer than the head, strong, broader than both, unless towards the curved extremity; upper mandible with its dorsal line slightly concave, at the tip decurved, its ridge broad and nearly flat at the base, narrowed and more convex towards the end, the sides separated from the ridge by a narrow groove, convex, the edges sharp, direct, irregularly jagged, with a prominence at the commencement of the curve at the elongated, compressed, tapering, decurved point; lower mandible with the angle extremely long, narrow, the membrane bare and dilatable into a small pouch, the very short dorsal line decurved, the sides erect at the base, convex in the rest of their extent, the edges sharp, much inflected, irregularly jagged, at the tip narrow and decurved. Nostrils basal, linear, inconspicuous. Head of moderate size, oblong; neck of moderate length, stout; body rather slender. Feet very short, stout; tibia very short; tarsus extremely short, feathered; toes all placed in the same plane, and connected by short deeply emarginate webs, which run out narrow along the sides, scutellate above, first small, second shorter than fourth, third much longer. Claws strong, compressed, curved, acute, that of the third toe long, with the inner edge pectinate. Plumage compact, glossy; feathers of the head, neck, and back, lanceolate. Wings extremely long, pointed, the first quill longest; the rest rapidly diminishing; secondaries very short, the inner long and tapering. Tail very long, deeply forked, of twelve feathers. Tongue exceedingly small, fleshy, flattened; oesophagus very wide; proventricular glands forming a complete belt; stomach very small, roundish, its muscular coat thin, the inner soft and corrugated; no pyloric lobe; intestine of moderate length; coeca extremely small; cloaca globular.