Mus musculus is the species of mouse found most frequently in a variety of laboratories. Because of their genetic similarity to humans, they are the most commonly used mammalian research model in genetics, physiology, psychology, medicine, and other scientific disciplines. For research, experimental, and testing purposes in a laboratory setting, animal identification plays a critical role in managing individual animals. The primary purpose of effective animal identification is twofold:
- It helps maintain the overall health and comfort of the animals; and
- It is vital in keeping accurate research records.
To that end, there are a variety of options when it comes to the identification of mice and other rodents, including marking the fur and tattooing the toes. However, the application of mouse ear tags is both relatively inexpensive and generally painless. Note that this method is not appropriate for mice that will undergo CT or MRI imaging.