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Pelican

In folklore the pelican was thought to feed its young by pecking open its breast as it loved the chicks so deeply that it fed then on its own blood. Yet a contradiction also exists in that the young eventually retaliate and the parents then kill the chicks. The mother though according to legend is driven by grief and proceeds to attack herself with the blood restoring life to the young. This theme of self-sacrifice is followed in the symbolism explored in heraldry where the pelican represents loyalty and genuine self-sacrifice. The pelican has long been associated with the death of Christ on the cross and can often be seen in the traditional stained glass composites for the same reasons suggested.