A picture of naked mole rats.

Naked Mole-rat

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Naked mole-rats are unusual mammals since they form a colony that would be more befitting of ants, or bees or similar colony insects. Just like colony insects naked mole-rats have a queen who produces all the pups, and workers who don’t breed just dig the tunnels, gather food, take care of the young, etc.

A picture of naked mole rats.

Naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) in the Toronto Zoo.

Naked mole-rats are not particularly beautiful creatures, and I do not seem to be able to take a decent photo of them. In zoos naked mole-rats are kept in some acrylic boxes to simulate their underground burrows, which the naked mole-rats tend to scratch in an attempt to dig, and render them not fully transparent.

Another picture of naked mole-rats.

More naked mole-rats in the Toronto Zoo.
This picture was taken on a different day when a different set of naked mole-rats were on duty.

Naked mole-rats can live very long for a rodent (over 30 years), and apparently naked mole-rats never get cancer which got researchers all excited.

Further Readings:

Naked mole-rat article on Wikipedia
Naked Mole Rat Named “Vertebrate of the Year”
Scientists discover gene that ‘cancer-proofs’ rodent’s cells
Genetic information at naked-mole-rat.org

Some lighter material:

Scientists discover how naked mole rats stay cancer-free
I like this one: Scientists have figured out why naked mole rats don’t get cancer

Last updated: June 21, 2015

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