Ectopistes migratorius 

The Passenger Pigeon



Classification Information

Domain - Eukarya

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Aves

Order - Columbiformes

Family - Columbidae

Genus - Ectopistes

Species - Ectopistes migratorius


Citation: Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed April 14, 2007 at
Sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative, the Homeland Foundation and the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. The ADW Team gratefully acknowledges their support.
1995-2006, The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors. All rights reserved.


          The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was in the domain Eukarya because it was multi-cellular, had membrane bound organelles, reproduced sexually, it also had multiple, linear chromosomes, and completed cell division (meiosis and mitosis).  It was in the kingdom Animalia because its cells did not have cell walls, it was motile, and it was heterotrophic.  The passenger pigeon was in the phylum Chordata because it was bilaterally symmetrical, a deuterostome, and it had a notochord, nerve cord, visceral clefts and arches.  It was in the sub-phylum Vertebrata because it had a vertebral column (segmented spinal column).  The passenger pigeon was in the class Aves because it had modified epidermal scales (feathers), wings, a disproportionately long neck, air cavities in its skeleton that allow for lighter bone structure and a keeled sternum which were conducive to flying.  They were also oviparous, had distinct bills, were warm-blooded, and had double circulation.  It was in the order Columbiformes because they were land birds.  The passenger pigeon was in the family Columidae because they produced "pigeon milk" from their crop lining, their young hatched blind and without true down, they drank by sucking or pumping, and they had thick plumage with the feathers set loosely in the skin.  It was in the genus Ectopistes because it had a straight bill, slender body, small head, short feet with the outer toe slightly shorter than the inner one, long wings where the first and second quills were the longest and equal, and it had a long tail that was pointed. It was also highly gregarious.  It was in the species Ectopistes migratorius because of its migration patterns in the search for food.  The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) is extinct. For a more detailed view of the passenger pigeon's phylogeny check out the next page!

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