Feb 23, 2009


Arne reminded me that it's been a while since my last naked mole-rat (oder Nacktmull, auf Deutsch). It's time to revisit one of my favorite animals.

A few fun factoids about this creature:
1) They are African rodents that live in matriarchal hives.
2) They aren't warm blooded in the true sense of the word: they regulate their body temperature by snuggling with one another (their ugly mugs actually make this image a bit more endearing) and by moving about their labyrinthine (love that word) burrows.
3) Their front teeth are outside their lips, so they don't ingest any dirt while burrowing.


4) They are the only animal whose adult spine will lengthen with the proper blend of (natural) hormones. When a new queen is selected, she actually grows in length to reflect her new status. I think my wife has done the same thing: she seems taller and more regal after every child.


booge said...

Wombat, this is my FAVORITE ugly animal! Always my icon when I get a chance. Thanks for making my day. She is so larval and weird.

Anonymous said...

I actually find them kind of cute.

Yvonne Navarro said...

Aw, someone get it a blanket!

Becca said...

Naked mole rats are some of the most interesting mammals!

Some other fun facts:
5) For their body size, naked mole rats are very long-lived. They are used in longevity and anti-aging studies.
6) They have a reduced ability to feel acidic burns. I think this is due to them adapting to living underground and ammonia build-up problems, but I could be wrong.
7) Their social structure is more like insects than other mammals.

I'm sure there are other weird facts!

LisaL said...

Rofl... that last photo is hilarious. Lil mole looks so happy with whatever it has in its hands.

linty said...

god why?

LibrarianJessica said...

The last NMR is bordering on cute with his/her nomming happiness. Wombat, thanks for making my day today.

Raging Wombat said...

You're welcome, booge and Jessica. Thanks for the additional facts, Becca.