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 rats weigh around 3.6 oz. They are largely hairless, although covered by some thin hairs that are sensitive to vibration.

Location: African Elephant Crossing

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Range

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


Habitat

The habitat of the naked mole rat is underground only. Naked mole rats will come to the surface to migrate to new groups. Usually 70 to 80 individuals form a colony. Underground passages are usually 7” deep; and single and two-lane passages as deep as 20" exist in grasslands and savannas.


Conservation Status
Least concern
Primary Threats

Gestation

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


Litter

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


Behavior

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.


Reproduction

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 e.g. 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



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