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  • Kyle Petrie

The Daily Iowan Debunked: Pelicans Aren’t Real Animals


daily iowan pelicans

As much as we hate to call out our fellow journalists, we can’t idly stand by while misinformation is spread. So it is with deep reluctance that we must say to the Daily Iowan: we caught your asses red-handed! Your story from March 23 about a pelican migration passing through Iowa City is absolutely unfounded.


How do we know? Easy. Pelicans are a myth. Pelicans aren't real animals.


Be honest – have any of you seen a pelican? There’s no reasonable way a bird evolved itself to have that gigantic beak. It’s completely useless in terms of aerodynamics. “OhH, bUt iT cOulD HelP tHem eAt fIsH aND oThEr –” get over yourselves. They don’t need that big of a mouth to eat fish. We interviewed biologists, and there are plenty of other seabirds that eat fish and survive just fine without getting all showboaty about it. I can eat fish with my small mouth, no problem. I could probably even fit two fish in there if I felt like it.


And yes, that is correct. We did speak with biologists – plural – and they assured us that pelicans are not real, nor have they ever been. The earliest known record of pelicans is a sketch in Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, but experts informed us this was merely the result of a daydreaming child.


“Not many people have actually read Origin of Species, so they can be forgiven for not knowing,” John Tsigoloib, a biologist, told us. “Darwin did include a note mentioning that his niece Matilda had snuck into his office and started doodling in his journal.”


“OhH, bUT I’vE sEeN a PeLicAn wiTh mY oWn eyeS aNd—” have you though? Have you really? Think about it. When was the last time you saw one? Are you sure that wasn’t a dream? Are you sure that you’re sure? You know what, draw one. Draw a pelican right now, I wanna see it. Oh, you’d need paper and a pencil to do that? Sounds like someone just doesn’t want to admit the truth.


So yeah, hate to break it to you all, but pelicans did not flock through Iowa City on March 23, in spite of the Daily Iowan’s photo report. To the DI, next time you want to drum up a controversial news story, maybe try something a little more realistic.

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