Naked Mole Rat / Heterocephalus glaber

Did you know...

Naked mole rats can survive up to 18 minutes without oxygen.

 

The naked mole rat is a burrowing rodent that originates from East Africa. Despite being rodents they live in a social organisation like ants and wasps. In the wild several dozen rats live together in colonies led by one dominant rat—the queen. As in some insect species, the queen is the only naked mole rat female to breed and bear young.

Despite their name naked mole rats are neither moles or rats! They are more closely related to porcupines, chinchillas and guinea pigs.

Naked mole rats live longer than any other rodent species, with an expected life span of up to 28 years in captivity.

Their large protruding teeth are used for digging and their lips close behind their teeth to prevent soil from entering their mouth. The wear & tear on their teeth means that they constantly have to regenerate, and means that they continue to grow for their entire lifetime.