Avian laboratory model species with special potential for aging studies
Species and order
Maturation time and MLS*
Qualifications and advantages
Drawbacks and special considerations co Ü1 o
Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica): Galliformes
Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus): Psittaciformes
Canary (Serinus canaria) Passeriformes
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata): Passeriformes
Pigeon (Columba livia): Columbiformes
(Zonotrichia leucophrys): Passeriformes
Fully domesticated. Excellent breeder. Extensive literature on behavior, reproduction, neuroendocrinology, and aging. Short-lived, but longer than laboratory rodents; very rapid reproductive aging.
Domesticated. Very good breeder. Extensive pet-husbandry and clinical literature including aging-related pathologies; some research on neurobiology. Some published studies of resistance to oxidative damage. Moderately long-lived with moderately slow reproductive aging. Prone to tumors, obesity, diabetes. Domesticated. Good captive breeder. Extensive research and clinical literature including behavior, neurobiology, husbandry and including aging-related pathologies. Moderately long-lived with moderately slow reproductive aging. Less tumor-prone than budgies.
15 g 2-3 mos; 9 yrs (C) Domesticated. Excellent captive breeder. Extremely high lifetime energy expenditures. Good husbandry information available; less clinical literature. Used extensively in behavior, physiology and neurobiology research.
Domesticated. Breeds well in captivity; husbandry information available. Large clinical, behavioral physiological and neurobiological literature. Free-radical production and oxidant status have been studied. Strains are available that are prone to special aging-related condition, e.g. cardiovascular disease.
Wild stock only, but captives can be maintained in substantial numbers. Extensive research literature on nutrition, physiology, neurobiology and behavior.
Very short-lived for a bird; reproductive declines at 1 year. Sexes distinguishable.
Longer-lived than laboratory rodents. Sexes distinguishable.
More difficult to breed than zebra finches or budgies. Longer-lived than laboratory rodents. Sexes distinguishable by song.
Less clinical and pathological information available. Small body size makes blood and tissue collection difficult; longer-lived than laboratory rodents. Sexes distinguishable.
Longer-lived than smaller pet bird species. Sexes not distinguishable.
Not commercially available. Breeding difficult in captivity. Sexes similar.
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