For this assignment, I chose the Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) as the model organism for my research.
As defined in the previous post, a model organism is a species that has been extensively analyzed and studied due to the fact that it is easy to maintain and breed in a laboratory setting.
The African clawed Frog is a species of aquatic frogs found mostly in Sub-Suharan Africa. They are greenish-grey in colour and can grow up to a length of thirteen (13cm) with both it’s head and body flattened. However they posses no ear and tongue but instead have lateral lines along their bodies used to sense vibrations and movement in the water. One characteristic feature of this organism is their clawed feet (present only on their hind feet) hence the name African clawed Frog. They use these to tear up any large pieces of food before eating it.
African clawed frogs reproduce via eggs.
The females are easily identified since they are approximately 20 percent larger than their male counterparts. In research and development, these respective eggs and embryos are used as model systems due to their experimental tractability and evolution alongside human beings. They take between one to two years to achieve maturity, being tetraploid (4x) like others of its genus.
Because their embryo is large and easy to manipulate, they are extensively used in developmental Biology.