DOMAIN: Eukarya

KINGDOM: Animaila

PHYLUM: Chordata


ORDER: Passeriformes

FAMILY: Cinclidae

GENUS: Cinclus

SPECIES: Cinclus mexicanus


Cinclus mexicanus
Understanding the classification of the American Dipper

Domain- Eukarya
The Eukarya domain includes all eukaryotic organisms. These organisms have membrane bound organelles such as mitochondria and have a true nucleus unlike organisms of the bacteria domain or archaea domain. Other eukaryotic organisms include the Sumatran Tiger and the Texas Blind Salamander.

Kingdom- Animalia
Kingdom Animalia refers to a wide variety of animals. The kingdom consists of motile organisms containing an internal cavity for digesting and ingesting food. The Blind Cave fish also belongs to kingdom Animalia.

Below is a phylogenetic tree of a few of the different phyla closely related to the chordata phylum in the animal kingdom. In addition, this phylogenetic tree shows the divergence of the different phyla of the animal kingdom. This phylogenetic tree was created using resources from the Spring 2014 Organismal Biology course at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse.

Phylogenetic tree

Phylum- Chordata
Organisms of the phylum chordata are classified as having bilateral symmetry, a dorsal nerve cord (notochord) and a post-anal tail. The Bar-Headed Goose is also a member of the phylum chordata.

Class- Aves
All members in this class have feathers and lay eggs. Usually the limbs are paired along with forelimbs that are modified for flying and with hind limbs for perching, walking, and swimming. All birds are classified as aves such as the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron or Anna's Hummingbird.

Order- Passeriformes
Passeriformes are birds that have three toes that point forward and one pointing backwards. This toe arrangement is beneficial for Passeriformes because it helps with perching on different structures located around their habitat including branches, rocks, cliffs, and fences. The Northern Cardinal is also a member of the Passeriform order.

Below is a phylogenetic tree representing the closest relationships the American Dipper shares with other members of the Passeriformes. The tree suggests that the American Dipper shares its most recent common ancestor with both Turdidae and Muscicapidae organisms of the Passeriform order. This phylogenetic tree was created using information gathered from here.

Phylogenetic tres

Family- Cinclidae
Birds of the family Cinclidae typically make their nests in areas near fast-moving water. Members of this family feast on aquatic insect larvae and small fish found in the aquatic ecosystems they call home. To learn more about other birds of the Cinclidae family click here.

Genus- Cinclus
Members belonging to the genus Cinclus along with other species such as Cinclus cinclus, Cinclus leucocephalus, Cinclus pallisii, and Cinclus schulzi. Each of these species of the genus Cinclus are known as dippers that are small, stout birds known for exerting “dipping” movements as they stand perched in or near the water.  

Species: Cinclus mexicanus

The Latin name Cinclus mexicanus means "American Dipper". The American Dipper earns its name because of its unique "dipping" or bobbing behavior it does while standing in the water or perched on nearby rocks.


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