Naked mole rat in exhibit

Naked Mole Rat

Scientific Name
Heterocephalus glaber
Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia
Savannas and grasslands
Estimated Wild Population
Naked mole rat in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Shaped like tubular mice with a gnarly set of choppers, naked mole rats actually have some fur. Whiskers on their face and tail help them navigate their dark, underground tunnels, while hairs between their toes help them sweep soil. Their pink skin is nearly translucent. Almost completely blind, they rely on hearing, smell, and touch to detect vibrations and air currents. One female leads each colony and produces all the offspring. Queens produce five litters each year, with as many as two dozen pups per litter.

Did You Know?

Although they are mammals, naked mole rats can’t maintain their body temperature, so they huddle in large masses to slow heat loss.

Naked mole rats eat their own feces as a means of hormonal communciation within the colony.

When expanding their complex burrows, naked mole rats work in assembly lines, with a digger passing dirt back to sweepers, who pass it along to the volcanoer, who kicks it out of the tunnel.

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