Northern Pintail




Domain - Eukarya

Members of the domain Eukarya have a true nucleus and membrane bound organelles.


Kingdom - Animalia

Organisms in this kingdom are all multicellular and depend on the consumption of other organisms for nutrients. These organisms are separated from plants because they lack cell walls, allowing most animals to be able to move.


Phylum - Chordata

All chordates, during some point in their development, possess a notochord, postanal tail, pharyngeal pouches, dorsal nerve chord, and an endostyle, also known as a thyroid gland. These organisms also have bilateral symmetry, are cephalized, have a coelom, and are triploblastic. The Anas acuta also falls under a subphylum of Vertebrata. Members of this subphylum have a vertebral column along the dorsal surface of the body.


Class - Aves

All birds are part of this class. All birds share one common ancestor, making them a monophyletic group. To be classified as a bird the organism must have a beak with no teeth, modified scales called feathers, and must lay eggs and provide significant care for their young until they are strong enough to take care of themselves.


Order - Anseriformes

This order consists of geese, ducks, and swans. All of these birds are mostly herbivores but may also feed on small organisms such as insects, crustaceans, mollusks, small fish, or plankton. All of these birds flock together throughout the year.


Family - Anatidae

Five subfamilies make up the family Anatidae and the Anas acuta falls into the subfamily Anatinae. This subfamily is composed of eight groups that further break down the members of this group. The Anatini group is the group the Pintail falls into and is home of all the dabbling ducks. Members of the subfamily Antinae are all sexually dimorphic, meaning the male and female do not look entirely similar. For birds this consists of much different plumage and occasionally minor size variations.


Genus - Anas

The genus Anas comes from the Latin word meaning duck.


Species - Anas acuta

Acuta also comes from a Latin word, in this case the verb "acuere" which means to sharpen. This name is of course in reference to the lengthened and pointed tail of the male. 


This phylogenetic tree is based on the genus Anus and includes some, but not all, of the ducks within the genus. The Northern Pintail is highlighted in red in the middle. 


This tree starts with separation by class and goes down through order, family, and ends with genus. By looking at this you can see how the Pintail is separated from other organisms, starting with broad differentiations and getting more and more precise as you go downwards. The Pintail's classification is identified with the red boxes. The class, order, and genus classifications on this picture are only a portion of the group. For a complete list check out this website!