Encyclopedia > Swan

  Article Content


Mute Swan with cygnets

Larger version
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
† see also: Goose, Duck

Swans are large water birds of the Anatidae family, which also includes ducks and geese. Sometimes swans are lumped with geese in the subfamily Anserinae.

Swans mate for life; the number of eggs in each clutch varies both within and among swan species.

Young swans are known as cygnets, from the Latin word for swan, cygnus.

Most species of swan are white, but Australia is home to a species known as the Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), which is black with a red beak and white patches under its wings. The black swan is the official state emblem of Western Australia.

The following are examples:

Genus Cygnus

  • Mute Swan, Cygnus olor, is a common Eurasian species, often semi-domesticated; descendants of domestic flocks have been naturalized in the eastern United States.

Mute Swans

Genus Coscoroba

The Anseriformes and rails are ancestral to neognathous birds, and should follow ratites and tinamous in bird classification systems. See the chart below

For further taxonomic comments, see also Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy.

See also: wildfowl, waterfowl
Cygnus is also a constellation in the northern sky.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Lake Ronkonkoma, New York

... area of 12.7 km² (4.9 mi²). 12.7 km² (4.9 mi²) of it is land and none of the area is covered with water. Demographics As of the census of 2000, ...

This page was created in 24.8 ms