naked mole rat

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naked mole rat,

name applied to a species (Heterocephalus glaber) of small rodentsrodent,
member of the mammalian order Rodentia, characterized by front teeth adapted for gnawing and cheek teeth adapted for chewing. The Rodentia is by far the largest mammalian order; nearly half of all mammal species are rodents.
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 found in E Africa, whose members—the only hairless rodents—live entirely in underground communities of 80 or more individuals with a structure resembling that of social-insect colonies. Colony members are closely related and seem to work for the success of the whole community rather than individual survival. The queen is head of the colony and is the only member to breed. She has approximately ten pups per litter and about four litters per year. The mole rats divide up the specialized chores, such as collecting food, disposing of waste, and digging tunnels. The colonies have extensive tunnel systems and a large central area for nesting. Naked mole rats are classified as Phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia.


See study by P. W. Sherman et al. (1991).

References in periodicals archive ?
The naked mole-rats seemed oblivious to most concentrations of fumes, wandering around in acidic and non-acidic environments for about the same amount of time.
To gauge whether or not the naked mole-rats were responding physiologically to the acidic environment, the scientists measured a protein called c-Fos, which can help determine if nerve cells are firing.
This could mean that naked mole-rats are born knowing how to shield their throats whenever digging creates fine dust.
Caption: Most naked mole-rats never have babies, but a queen can have three litters a year with a dozen pups each.
The researchers placed naked mole-rats in a system of cages in which some areas contained air with acidic fumes.
If you're ever attacked by an African naked mole-rat, don't bother with pepper spray.
The members of a particular colony showed less than half the relatedness previously reported in naked mole-rats, the other social mole-rat species.