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Definition: Olor cygnus
, n. (Zo["o]l.) [So called from its note.]
The European whistling, or wild, swan (Olor cygnus
called also hooper swan
, whooping swan
, and elk
(sw[o^]n), n. [AS. swan; akin to D. zwaan, OHG.
swan, G. schwan, Icel. svanr, Sw. svan, Dan. svane; and
perhaps to E. sound something audible.]
1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of large aquatic
birds belonging to Cygnus
, and allied genera of
the subfamily Cygnin[ae]
. They have a large and strong
beak and a long neck, and are noted for their graceful
movements when swimming. Most of the northern species are
white. In literature the swan was fabled to sing a
melodious song, especially at the time of its death.
Note: The European white, or mute, swan (Cygnus gibbus
which is most commonly domesticated, bends its neck in
an S-shaped curve. The whistling, or trumpeting, swans
of the genus Olor
do not bend the neck in an S-shaped
curve, and are noted for their loud and sonorous cry,
due to complex convolutions of the windpipe. To this
genus belong the European whooper, or whistling swan
), the American whistling swan (O. Columbianus
), and the trumpeter swan (O. buccinator
). The Australian black swan (Chenopis atrata
) is dull black with white on the wings, and has
the bill carmine, crossed with a white band. It is a
very graceful species and is often domesticated. The
South American black-necked swan (Sthenelides melancorypha
) is a very beautiful and graceful
species, entirely white, except the head and neck,
which are dark velvety seal-brown. Its bill has a
double bright rose-colored knob.
2. Fig.: An appellation for a sweet singer, or a poet noted
for grace and melody; as Shakespeare is called the swan of
3. (Astron.) The constellation Cygnus.
(Zo["o]l.), a bird of India (Cygnopsis cygnoides
) resembling both the swan and the goose.
, a large size of shot used in fowling.