Feeding and rearing techniques used for larvae of Pleurodeles waltl (urodele amphibian) onboard the MIR space station
A research group in our laboratories works on development of amphibians under microgravity conditions. Several experiments were performed in space conditions using embryos or adults of the urodele amphibian, Pleurodeles waltl (Bautz et al., 1995; Dournon et al., 1997; Husson et al., 1998; Duprat et al., 1998; Aimar et al., 2000). In 1999, for the so-called Perseus French space mission onboard the MIR space station, the project was to rear embryos and larvae of Pleurodeles waltl in microgravity conditions to study the appearance and evolution of otoconia in the inner ear (Oukda et al., 1999a and b). The present paper reports the technique used to feed and rear Pleurodeles larvae in microgravity conditions with the assistance of a cosmonaut.