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This page provides an up to the minute summary of data currently available in the database. Parameters reported include minimum and maximum reported genomes sizes (in picograms), mean genomes sizes with standard error (SE), total number of species assayed, and the methods, cell types, and standards used for all available records. Note that the statistics reported here are based on all records in the database -- for maximum reliability, you are encouraged to evaluate the data for your particular group of interest directly. Note also that these C-value summaries do not currently account for instances of polyploidy (though this will be updated in the future).

Because these statistics refer to the database as a whole, they must be cited as follows if used in a publication:

Please select your group of interest from the list:

(Other invertebrate groups are insufficiently represented for summary stats)


Number of birds:757
Smallest bird genome size:0.91pg, Archilochus alexandri, Black-chinned hummingbird
Largest bird genome size:2.16pg, Struthio camelus, Ostrich
Mean for birds:1.36pg ± 0.01


  • Positive correlation with red blood cell and nucleus sizes (Gregory 2002c).
  • Negative correlation with metabolic rate (Vinogradov 1997; Gregory 2002c).
  • No correlation with developmental rate or longevity, despite some earlier reports to the contrary (see Gregory 2002d).
  • No known cases of polyploidy in birds.
  • Genome sizes are larger in flightless birds (Hughes 1999).
  • Avian genome sizes may have become smaller in response to selection for high metabolism/flight, or they may have been small before the evolution of flight (e.g., Hughes 1999; Gregory 2002c; Waltari and Edwards 2002).
  • Click here for the bird data page.

Summary of Methods, Cell Types, and Standard Species for Birds

Methods (code)

Biochemical Analysis (BCA)101.12%
Feulgen Densitometry (FD)10511.73%
Feulgen Image Analysis Densitometry (FIA)59366.26%
Flow Cytometry (FCM)16418.32%
Not Specified (NS)40.45%
Static Cell Fluorometry (SCF)192.12%

Cell Types (code)

Liver (LV)242.67%
Not specified (NS)91.00%
Red blood cells (RBC)86396.10%
Sperm (S)20.22%

Standard Species (code, C-value)

Bufo terrestris (BT, 5.00pg)221.96%
Gallus domesticus (GD, 1.25pg)76468.15%
Homo sapiens (HS, 3.50pg)17615.70%
Ictalurus punctatus (IP, 1.00pg)10.09%
Mus musculus (MM, 3.30pg)282.50%
Not specified20.18%
Oncorhynchus mykiss (OM, 2.60pg)494.37%
Rana temporaria (RT, 4.30pg)90.80%
Xenopus laevis (XL, 3.15pg)151.34%