Naked Mole Rat – Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

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Naked Mole Rat facts and info. Know Naked Mole Rat weight-reduction plan, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and many others See fascinating facts of Naked Mole Rat in our animal facts archive.

Scientific identify: Heterocephalus glaber
Scientific classification: Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Family: Bathyergidae

What does it appear like? Based on seems alone, the bare mole rat should absolutely price as some of the weird mammals. Except for a couple of sensory hairs and whiskers, it’s fully bald, pink, and wrinkly. The head is giant, however a lot of this bulk is taken up by the jaw muscle tissue. Its eyes are minute and give it a squinting look. The lips of the animal shut behind the large, curved, ever-rising incisors. They have hairs between their toes, permitting them to use their ft like miniature brooms.

Where does it reside? This rodent is a burrow-dwelling creature of arid areas and savannah in components of Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.


The bare mole rat is an interesting little mammal. These creatures shun the sky and do every part they want to underground in intensive burrow programs, which can have four km of tunnels. Some of these tunnels are just under the floor, whereas others could be greater than 2m underground. One of these tunnel networks is occupied by one colony of mole rats, which might comprise between 70 and 300 people.

Perhaps probably the most weird facet of the bare mole rat’s life is the way in which that it reproduces. Like the bees, wasps, and ants, there is just one feminine within the mole rat colony that provides start to younger—the queen. No different mammal is thought to reproduce in such a manner. 

The queen could reside for a few years, producing as many as 900 pups in her lifetime, and it is rather probably that every one of these off spring will stick with the colony as dispersal in these rodents could be very uncommon certainly. With migration and immigration being so low, inbreeding within the nest is excessive, so many of the people within the colony will likely be very intently associated to each other, which can be the case for bee, wasp, and ant colonies. 

As the queen has a monopoly on breeding, all the different people within the colony assist to rear the younger, that are produced prolifically. The queen can produce a litter of pups each 80 days and can have fi ve litters a year. The common variety of pups in every litter is 12, however the document is 27, so you possibly can see, these rodents understand how to breed. Not solely do the opposite colony members assist to rear the younger, however they’re additionally chargeable for fi nding food, tunnel making, sustaining the tunnels, and defending the colony. 

The different people within the colony have the organic equipment wanted for breeding, however their pure urges are by some means curbed. The animals all share a latrine the place they defecate and urinate, and chemical compounds within the queen’s urine are chargeable for suppressing the reproductive tendencies of the opposite females within the colony.

With their libido quashed by the queen’s urine, the opposite animals within the colony can consider extra industrious duties. Just after the rains, when the soil is softened, the bare mole rats start some frantic group digging to enlarge and keep the tunnel community. They kind a sequence gang, with a digger on the entrance placing its large tooth and jaw muscle tissue to good use to scrape away the tunnel face. Sweepers behind the digger brush the unfastened soil to their rear with their ft and shuffl e backward, hugging the tunnel backside till they attain the ejector mole rat that kicks the soil from the tunnel entrance, forming a molehill-like construction—the one clear, above floor proof of these exceptional mammals.

Key Facts

  • There are 9 species of mole rat, all of that are present in sub-Saharan Africa. As their identify implies, they’re ratlike rodents which have turn into brilliantly tailored to an underground life-style.
  • Although the mole rats have a really poor sense of sight, all of their different senses are very properly developed. They have an distinctive sense of contact, feeling their manner round their darkish burrows with the lengthy sensory hairs scattered throughout their our bodies.
  • Not solely does the bare mole have a peculiar social construction, however due to the secure temperature inside its burrow programs, it’s the solely mammal that can’t regulate its personal physique temperature. It is successfully chilly-blooded. When bare mole rats are chilly, they huddle collectively or bask for some time within the shallow tunnels. If they’re too heat, they retreat to the deeper, cooler components of the tunnel system.
  • Temperature regulation is energetically costly and requires lots of food, however because the bare mole rat has deserted this lifestyle, its urge for food is small. It additionally grows extra slowly than equally sized mammals. Its metabolic price is far decrease than different small mammals, so its longevity is significantly prolonged. In captivity, queens can reside for greater than 20 years, which is astonishing for such a small mammal.
  • Naked mole rats feed on roots and tubers situated by burrowing via the soil. Some of these tubers are very giant, and the mole rats make excavations into the nutritious interiors whereas leaving the pores and skin intact, which permits the plant to survive and yield additional food sooner or later. In so me areas, the feeding actions of this animal can do lots of injury to crops, particularly candy potatoes. Other mole rat species additionally chew via undergroun d cables and undermine roadways when constructing their subterranean properties.
  • To improve the vitamin that may be extracted from its food, the bare mole rat has a excessive density of micro organism in its intestine, and to make digestion as environment friendly as doable, it usually eats its personal feces. Feces are additionally fed to the younger to inoculate their intestine with the micro organism.
  • The pores and skin of bare mole rats lacks a chemical referred to as substance P. All different mammals have this substance, which allows them to detect ache and damage to their pores and skin. As a outcome, the mole rat feels no ache, in its pores and skin a minimum of. Why this ought to be is a thriller, however it might be as a result of the mole rat lives in such tightly packed communities. In-fi ghting in these communities could be very damaging to the colony as an entire; subsequently, the shortage of substance P could possibly be a manner of eliminating aggressive people from the inhabitants. Since this rodent can’t detect wounds, molerats with a propensity for fi ghting would get wounded, and as there isn’t a sensation of ache, the accidents may simply be extreme sufficient to trigger the loss of life of the animal from blood loss or an infection. Another risk for the shortage of substance P is as a consequence of the excessive ranges of carbon dioxide within the mole rat tunnels due to all of the frantic exercise. Carbon dioxide at excessive concentrations could be painful to the lips, nostrils, and eyes; however as mole rats don’t have any substance P, they really feel nothing.