Spineless Wonders: Welfare and Use of Invertebrates in the Laboratory and Classroom (Vol. 52:2)

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” – George Orwell, Animal Farm

Invertebrates may be spineless, but they certainly aren’t worthless. Consider the honey bee, which pollinates 80% of our agricultural crops, or oysters, which clarify water and provide habitats for other aquatic life. And invertebrates studied in the lab are helping to advance research in almost every area of biology and medicine—from embryonic development to aging processes. Yet despite these important contributions and the fact that invertebrates make up over 95% of all animal species, they get only a tiny fraction of the respect and attention paid to animals with backbones, even in the laboratory.

This much-needed issue of the ILAR Journal sheds light on the importance, versatility, and care and welfare requirements of invertebrates. The authors present both practical and philosophical matters in ways that will be broadly accessible and useful to those who interact with these underappreciated species. The articles cover four major aspects of invertebrate care and use in the laboratory, classroom, or elsewhere:

  1. Use of invertebrates in biomedical and related research
  2. The culture and maintenance of invertebrates
  3. Evidence for pain and suffering and their alleviation
  4. Attitudes and their influence on regulation and oversight

This issue, which also includes an extensive compendium of invertebrate-related Web resources, is intended as a useful resource for a broad constituency of investigators, laboratory animal personnel, institutional officials for research, and members of animal care and use committees.

121 Introduction: Laboratory Invertebrates: Only Spineless, or Spineless and Painless?
Paul L.R. Andrews
Full Text | View PDF
126 Invertebrate Models for Biomedical Research, Testing, and Education
Susan E. Wilson-Sanders
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153 Culture and Maintenance of Selected Invertebrates in the Laboratory and Classroom
Stephen A. Smith, Joseph M. Scimeca, and Mary E. Mainous
Abstract | View PDF
165 Invertebrate Resources on the Internet
Stephen A. Smith
Abstract | View PDF
175 Pain and Suffering in Invertebrates?
Robert W. Elwood
Abstract | View PDF
185 Nociceptive Behavior and Physiology of Molluscs: Animal Welfare Implications
Robyn J. Crook and Edgar T. Walters
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196 Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Euthanasia of Invertebrates
John E. Cooper
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205 Philosophical Background of Attitudes toward and Treatment of Invertebrates
Jennifer A. Mather
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213 IACUC Challenges in Invertebrate Research
Chris Harvey-Clark
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221 Thanks to Institutional Supporters (PDF)
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