Hummingbird Classification

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All hummingbirds are in the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Aves, order Apodiformes and family Trochilidae. Only genus and species vary according to individual hummingbirds. Genus and species make up the "scientific name" of the bird (as an example, Ramphodon naevius), while most people simply rely on the common name (in this case, the saw-billed hermit).

Kingdom

  • Hummingbirds are classified in the kingdom Animalia. Animalia includes all birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Basically, any multicellular creature that eats other organisms (plants or animals) is Animalia.

Phylum

  • Hummingbirds are classified within the phylum Chordata. Chordates are vertebrates or invertebrates that have segmented bodies, a ventral heart and a digestive system.

Class

  • Hummingbirds are in the class Aves, which consists of all birds. According to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, there are approximately 30 orders of birds, 180 families and 10,000 species of birds on the planet.

Order

  • Hummingbirds belong to the order Apodiformes, which is made up of swifts and hummingbirds. Apodiformes are characterized by small, skin-covered feet and long wings.

Family

  • Hummingbirds make up the family Trochilidae. All hummingbirds share the unique ability to hover in flight and fly backwards.

Further Classification

  • Hummingbirds are further classified by genus and species. Genus and species are frequently re-sorted and renamed. Under current classifications, there are more than 300 species of hummingbird.

References

  • Photo Credit hummingbird image by cherie from Fotolia.com
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