Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters, where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface. They are gregarious birds, travelling in flocks, hunting cooperatively, and breeding in colonies. They also have a long history of cultural significance in mythology. In Ancient Egypt the pelican was associated with death and the afterlife. It was depicted in art on the walls of tombs, and figured in funerary texts, as a protective symbol against snakes. The pelican was believed to possess the ability to prophesy safe passage in the underworld for someone who had died.