Interesting Facts
About the Creator



"Where do I fit in?"  


  Domain: Eukarya

   Kingdom: Animalia

 Phylum: Chordata

 Class: Aves

    Order: Apodiformes

    Family: Trochilidae

    Genus: Archilochus

       Species: Archilochus colubris


What do These Classifications Mean?          

Eukarya  -  membrane-bound organelles, genetic material contained in nucleus,       complex cells

Animalia multicellular, heterotrophic, lack a cell wall, possess tissues

Chordata  -  bilateral symmetry, true body cavity, notochord, dorsal tubular          nerve cord, postnatal tail, pharyngeal pouches, endostyle

Aves -  wings, feathers, air cavities in skeleton, beak with no teeth, amniotic eggs, endothermic  

Apodiformes - "unfooted birds," tiny feet, long wings        

Trochilidae - long wings with a short, thick humerous, enlarged flight muscles,      small feet with sharp, curved claws

Archilochus - includes all hummingbirds, narrow elongated beak,  extendable tongues, hovering flight                                                                  



                                 Phylogenetic Tree                                      

"An Oversized Family Tree"


Picture courtesy of Full Free Stuff







The phylogenetic tree above shows the classification of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  It begins with the hummingbird's broadest classification, the domain, Eukarya, and narrows all the way down to the species, Archilochus colubris.  As you can see, the order Apodiformes branches off into three groups, meaning these three families, Apodidae (Swifts), Trochilidae (Hummingbirds) and Hemiprocnidae (Tree Swifts) are monophyletic, or have a common ancestor.  Characteristics that support this relationship are:  small to very small birds, a similar wing structure, and small feet that are useless for walking.  The main differentiations between the members of this group can be found in the methods of their flight and in their musculature.  Swifts glide rather than flap their wings, so their muscles make up a small portion of their body mass.  Hummingbirds hover with rapid wing beats, so they possess very powerful flight muscles.


For more information on the Ruby-throated Hummingbird's phylogenetic history and to explore how other animals are related, check out:

                                                       Animal Diversity Web


Text Box:  
                          Eukarya                Animalia                Chordata                Aves    
                                              Apodidae [swifts]
             Apodiformes               Trochilidae              Archilochus            Archilochus colubris      
                                              Hemiprocnidae [tree swifts]

Picture courtesy of Jonathon Morgan


Tree Swift, Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Swift, Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Picture courtesy of Jonathon Morgan