Table 304

Avian laboratory model species with special potential for aging studies

Species and order

Body weight

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

White-crowned Sparrow

(Zonotrichia leucophrys): Passeriformes

45 g

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.

20-25 g

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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