Aug 16, 2010

Ugly is more than skin deep

The naked mole rat has been the subject of a number of posts on this blog. (Here is one nice one.) This is only proper, since there's nothing about the critter that isn't ugly, from the tip of its gross hairless tail through its misshapen wrinkled body to its buck teeth that are visible even when its mouth is completely closed.

But if you think "poor naked mole rat, if it only had fur, it would be cute," you haven't met the Damaraland mole rat. This less well-known cousin of the naked guys is completely covered with fur, but as you can see, that doesn't make a bit of difference when you've still got tiny pinprick eyes, two holes for a nose, and those same horrible buck teeth.

What's more, it's got the ugliest attitude of just about any animal I've ever met. What you see in the photos above is a colony of Damaraland mole rats in captivity thirsting after the blood of their keeper. Naked mole rats are as weak and inoffensive as they come, but Damaraland mole rats bite first and they don't ask questions later, either. All they do is bite every chance they've got. HARD.

According to the IUCN, the Damaraland mole rat is not endangered, and conservationists don't see any imminent risk to it, so its status is "Least Concern." I can go along with that. Worry about some other species - this animal can obviously take care of itself!

With painful memories,
Wombat (No Relation)

Read more about both kinds of mole rats here. Or don't; it might just encourage them.


Carly said...

is there something wrong with me that half the time you post an animal I find them to be cute rather than ugly?

I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder..

April Lorier said...

Hey! Being physically unattractive is one thing; but having an ugly disposition is where I draw the line!

Nicole said...

Mean and what a poor lot in life. I guess they never get invited to parties!