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The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.

BURROWING BEAUTIES Naked Mole Rat

Naked Mole Rat

Naked Mole Rat

Heterocephalus glaber

Family

Heterocephalidae

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Range

Eastern Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

Habitat

Underground burrows and tunnels in grassy, semi-arid regions Diet: Roots and bulbs

Highlights

Virtually blind and hairless, naked mole rats are a member of the rodent family that have exceptionally long-life spans of around 25 years old. They rely on their sense of smell, touch and hearing to navigate in the dark.

Naked mole rats live exclusively underground in subterranean burrows that are 1.5” in diameter and can be up to 6.5’ deep. Their burrows feature interconnecting tunnels and special chambers used for specific purposes, including food storage and raising young. Virtually blind and hairless, naked mole rats are a member of the rodent family that have exceptionally long-life spans of around 25 years old. They rely on their sense of smell, touch and hearing to navigate in the dark. Naked mole rat colonies are led by one queen, who mates with only a few of the colony’s males. Incredibly, these relationships can last for years. The rest of the colony are known as “workers” and support the queen. Threats: Predators include cheetah and wild dogs.

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