BIO 203


Domain - Eukarya
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Anseriformes
Family - Anatidae
Genus - Anser
Species - Anser indicus


The bar-headed goose possesses mitochondria, a trait of the domain Eukarya derived from endosymbiosis with a bacterium.
Being multicellular, lacking a cell wall, and producing sexual gametes through meiosis distinguish this organism under the kingdom Animalia.
This bar-headed goose puts its webbed foot forward! Source: Thomas-Harris on FlickrThis goose shares traits with the phylum Chordata, such as triploblastic tissue, deuterostome development, a notochord and hollow dorsal nerve chord, and gill slits and a tail during its development (The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 2013).
Synapomorphies of the class Aves shared by the bar-headed goose include feathers, a beak, reproduction by egg-laying, as well as wings and a four-chambered heart (both by convergent evolution) (The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 2013).
The common ancestor of the order Anseriformes possessed water-dwelling adaptations present in the barheaded goose. One adaptaThe bar-headed goose flaunts an orange bill. Photographed by E.J. Peiker.tion is webbed feet. Another synapomorphy is the structure of the bill apparatus for feeding. Inside, these birds have a tongue specially formed for suctioning water and food particles, then ejecting the water to trap the food within filters called lamellae.

A phylogeny of the Anatidae family, including ducks, geese, swans, and the likes. Source: Wikimedia CommonsThe Anatidae family includes all ducks, swans, and geese, including this bar-headed organism  (The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 2013).

The cladogram to the left shows the evolutionary history and relatedness of Anatidae family genuses. The bar-headed goose belongs to Anser (seven from the top). Some other familiar organisms that fit into this tree include the colorful wood duck of genus Aix, and the beautiful mute swan of Cygnus.

The bar-headed goose shares several morphologies with the other gray geese of the genus Anser: orange legs, feet and beak, light or white-colored underbody, and primary colors gray, black, and white throughout its plumage  (The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 2013). 
The cladogram to the right shows the evolutionary relationship of the Anser genus. However, because this phylogeny was made using DNA sequencing, it includes species of the genus, Chen (in red), which were not thought to be closely related when they were named. The bar-headed goose is shown as being most closely related to the greylag goose (Anser anser), genetically and by name. This cladogram was constructed by the authors of this website based upon data by Lee et al., 2008.

is the Latin word for goose. Indicus is derived from the Latin word Indus, meaning Indian. So, Anser indicus translates literally to Indian goose, which is very logical for the geographical location and migratory pattern of the bar-headed goose (Latin-Dictionary, 2014).


Continue to Habitat to discover where the bar-headed goose resides.

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