Common Name: Caenorhabditis elegans
Scientific Name: Caenorhabditis elegans
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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nematoda
Class: Secernentea
Order: Rhabditida
Family: Rhabditidae
Genus: Caenorhabditis
Species: C. elegansfree html hit counter
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Caenorhabditis elegans is unusal for nematodes since it is a free-living nematode. It grows to be about 1 mm in length. C. elegans lives in temperate soil environments. C. elegans are hermaphroditic which means they are both male and female. When crowded or in the absence of food, C. elegans can enter a dorminate state where they are stress-resistant and do not age.
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When self-inseminated the wild-type worm will lay approximately 300 eggs. When inseminated by a male, the number of progeny can exceed 1,000. C. elegans has an average life span of approximately 2-3 weeks and a generation time of approximately 4 days. C. elegans is one of the simplest organisms with a nervous system. It has 302 neurons (nerve cells). C. elegans has been the subject of countless scientific studies.
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Author: Molly S
Published: 06/2008
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Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caenorhabditis_elegans http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/Caen.elegans.html
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Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C_elegans_stained.jpg