Classification-Fitting into the big picture...

         The following table lists the levels of taxonomic classification for the black-necked swan.  Also listed is a short explanation of what that level means/why this swan fits there.  For more information regarding classification and close relatives of the black-necked swan, check out the phylogeny page.

Classification Level


 Domain: Eukarya

Organisms whose cells contain a true nucleus and membrane bound organelles.

Kingdom: Animalia

Organisms are multicellular, heterotrophic, and without cell walls.

 Phylum: Chordata

Organisms that at some point in development contain these five characteristics: notochord, dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal pouches, endostyle, and a postanal tail.

 Class: Aves

Organisms called “birds,” they have wings, a beak, air cavities in their skeleton, amniotic eggs, endothermic.

 Order: Anseriformes

Includes the geese, ducks, and swans.  Characterized by a broad flat bill and webbed feet.

 Family: Anatidae

Swimming birds that have heavy short-legged bodies and bills with a horny tip.

 Genus: Cygnus

Characterized by a long slender neck and white plumage

 Species: melancoryphus

Black-necked swan

*The genus Cygnus refers to swans while the species name, melancoryphus, literally means “black-necked”.