Naked Mole-Rat

[Heterocephalus glaber]

Naked mole rats have four protruding teeth on the outside of the lips. Their eyes are almost useless and their ears are just holes in the skin. They have wrinkled pinkish skin and are 3” to 4” long. Naked mole rates weigh around 102 grams. They are largely hairless, although covered by some thin hairs that are sensitive to vibration.

Location: African Elephant Crossing



The range of the naked mole rat is East Africa: Southeast Ethiopia, Eastern Kenya and Somalia.


The habitat of the naked mole rate is underground only. Naked mole rats will come to the surface to migrate to new groups. Usually 70 to 80 individuals to a colony. Underground passage are usually 7” deep and single passage and 2 lane passages that are 20" deep in grasslands and savannahs.


Gestation is about 10 weeks. Pups can walk in a few hours and east solid food at 3-4 weeks.


Usually 3 to 15 pups. Can have up to 4-5 litters per year


Naked mole rats live in a large colony and have a cooperative social structure. They are burrowing rodents, virtually blind, and never eat food above ground. The naked mole rat is the only mammal with a social organization similar to bees, ants, and termites.


The naked mole rat colony is dominated by the only breeding female or queen. The queen has 1 to 3 mates. She mates almost every 3 months within about 1 week of her last litter.

Wild Diet

Tubers and roots only, wild species east sweet potatoes. All moisture comes from food. Young eat a form of feces called a cecotroph to obtain beneficial bacteria that aids digestion.

Zoo Diet

Rodent pellets, yam, apple, carrot, corn, banana, kale




External Links: