The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a model organism in scientific research.
Classification of the zebrafish
The zebrafish is an eukaryote which belongs to the Teleostei infraclass and the Cyprinidae family.
Characteristics of the zebrafish
The zebrafish gets its name, as well as its nickname 'pyjama fish', from its white and steel blue horizontal stripes. It measures from 2 to 5 centimetres in length and prefers to live in water at temperatures around 21°C, even though it can survive in water from 5 to 30°C. It can live for 2 to 3 years, with a generation time of 3 to 4 months.
The zebrafish has the capacity to regenerate every part of its body (its fins and even its nerves and heart).
Use of the zebrafish in scientific research
The zebrafish is used in scientific research to study regeneration, a phenomenon that is still not well understood and also cancer.
A female adult zebrafish. © C. Thisse