Naked mole rats are small, burrowing rodents native to parts of East Africa. They are called “naked” mole rats because they have hairless, wrinkled skin that gives them a somewhat pink, naked appearance. They are also called “mole rats” because they live underground in complex burrow systems that they construct themselves.
Naked mole rats are known for their extraordinary longevity and resistance to cancer, as well as their unusual social behavior. They live in colonies with a strict social hierarchy, and one female naked mole rat, known as the “queen,” dominates the colony and is the only one that reproduces. The other members of the colony, both male and female, help to care for the young and maintain the burrow system.
Naked mole rats have a number of other interesting characteristics, including their ability to survive long periods without oxygen, their low metabolic rate, and their high tolerance for pain. They are popular subjects of scientific research due to their unique biology and behavior.
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What Do Naked Mole Rats Eat?
Naked mole rats primarily feed on underground tubers, which they locate by smell. They also occasionally eat insects and other small invertebrates that they come across while foraging. They do not drink water, as they get all the moisture they need from the food they eat.
Naked mole rats are able to extract a lot of energy from their food, thanks to their low metabolic rate and their ability to break down sugars in a way that is different from other mammals. This allows them to survive on a diet that would not sustain other animals.
In captivity, naked mole rats can be fed a diet of commercial rodent chow supplemented with small amounts of fruits and vegetables. They may also be given treats such as boiled eggs or small insects. It is important to ensure that their diet is well-balanced and provides all the nutrients they need to maintain their health.
How long do naked mole rats live?
Naked mole rats are known for their extraordinary longevity compared to other rodents. In the wild, they can live for up to 30 years, which is much longer than most other rodents, which typically only live for a few years. In captivity, naked mole rats have been known to live even longer, with some individuals living more than 35 years.
One of the reasons that naked mole rats are able to live so long is their low metabolic rate and their ability to survive long periods without oxygen. They are also resistant to cancer, which is a major cause of death in other animals.
Overall, the long lifespan of naked mole rats makes them an interesting subject of scientific research, as they can provide insights into the biology of aging and disease.
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Are naked mole rats blind?
Naked mole rats have poor vision, but they are not completely blind. They have small, degenerate eyes that are not well suited for seeing in the low light conditions of their underground habitat. However, they are able to perceive light and dark, and they use their eyes in conjunction with other senses, such as smell and touch, to navigate their environment.
Naked mole rats have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to locate food, communicate with other members of their colony, and navigate their underground burrow system. They also have sensitive touch receptors on their skin, which they use to feel their way around in the dark.
Overall, naked mole rats rely more on their other senses, such as smell and touch, than on their vision to navigate and interact with their environment.
Are naked mole rats dangerous to dogs?
Naked mole rats are not generally considered to be dangerous to dogs or other larger animals. They are small, timid creatures that spend most of their time underground in their burrow systems, and they do not have the ability to defend themselves against larger predators.
It is unlikely that a dog would encounter a naked mole rat in the wild, as they are native to parts of East Africa and are not found in other parts of the world. In captivity, naked mole rats are usually kept in enclosures that prevent them from coming into contact with other animals, including dogs.
Overall, it is not a good idea to handle naked mole rats or any other wild animals, as they can be carriers of diseases that can be transmitted to humans and other animals. It is best to observe them from a distance and leave them in their natural habitat.