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.

Bibliography

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

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References in periodicals archive ?
Buffenstein, "Skin morphology and its role in thermoregulation in mole-rats, Heterocephalus glaber and Cryptomys hottentotus," Journal of Anatomy, vol.
Social suppression of ovarian cyclicity in captive and wild colonies of naked mole-rats, Heterocephalus glaber.
We could continue the trend of ever finer task specialization of our members (Smith, 1838), eventually including specialization in reproductive tasks, following the path to eusociality as exemplified by social insects and the naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber).
One compelling example of a superorganism in nature involves the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), a unique African rodent species that lives in large underground colonies (usually numbering 75-80 but sometimes over 200).