A Review of the Published Anatomical Research on the African Giant Rat (Cricetomys gambianus Waterhouse)
Retrospective study of published anatomical research available online was carried out on the African giant rat (AGR) to determine the pattern, frequency and field of study that have received attention or a lack of it. The AGR (Cricetomys gambianus Waterhouse) has been recommended as a micro-livestock of Africa to supplement dietary animal protein with progressive use as landmine and tuberculosis detectors and pet animals. The applied usefulness of the pouched rats can be expanded with a thorough knowledge of their anatomy and morphophysiology however, the scientific bases for these functions are largely unknown. Various authors have provided insight into the anatomy of parts of the body system which reveal information and data upon which relevant inferences can be drawn for further research and determining the potentials and adaptive features of this animal. Scientific publications found on Google and Pubmed were used to access online International journals. Records of all anatomically inclined publications were collated and analyzed excluding abstracts, conference proceedings and unpublished research dissertations and thesis. All data were dated till December 2012. A total of 62 publications were found with reproductive anatomy ranking highest (33.9%) with 21 publications followed by, blood studies and angiology, osteology and renal studies (12.9%) 8 publications apiece then, neuroanatomy (11.3%) with 7 publications. Myology, arthrology and endocrine studies had no research finding. The authors propose a need for research focus on Africa’s 2nd largest micro-livestock and rare rodents (AGR) with policies and funding from government and the private sector in order to evolve an African model of rodent for scientific research.
Keywords: African giant rat, anatomical research, review, African model, research focus