Head-manager Vyacheslav Yu. Zatrov
The vivarium was established in 1960 as a supporting facility of the Institute intended for keeping and breeding animals to conduct scientific researches. In addition to the typical laboratory species – the house mouse (Mus musculus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), (whose ancestors are individuals caught in nature), in the vivarium are kept 13 Palaearctic species of hamsters (subfamily Cricetinae), 6 of which were first introduced into the laboratory at the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution. These are Eversman hamsters – Eversman (Allocricetulus evrsmanni) and Mongolian (A. curtatus), striped hamsters Cricetulus barabensis sensu lato, gray hamster (Notocricetulus migratorius) and Sokolov’s hamster (Cricetulus sokolovi).
The animals are kept in standard cages (EHRET) on laboratory food with the addition of natural nutriments (grain mix, cottage cheese, meat) according to species specificity. The functioning of the vivarium is provided by 9 permanent employees and a supervisor. The total space is 452,4 sq.m, the current livestock is about 3000 animals. They are kept under natural photoperiod without additional illumination in the winter and at room ambient temperature. There is an accessory unheated room, which ensures that the animals maintain seasonality (photoperiodism, responses to low winter temperatures, etc.). Such unique conditions and using of a wide range of species with different life strategies allow comprehensive comparative studies related to hypothermia, mechanisms of sleepwakefulness, hormonal responses to exo- and endogenous factors, reproduction, chemical communication, and other relevant topics of biology.
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