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 ?
Going by its looks, the naked mole-rat isn't much to write home about.
In the new study, the researchers exposed naked mole-rats to low oxygen conditions in the laboratory and found that they released large amounts of fructose into the bloodstream.
At oxygen levels low enough to kill a human within minutes, naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours, Park said.
Because naked mole-rats spend their time in hot African climates, the rodents might have evolved to not need the pain signals that come from heat, the authors speculate.
78) provide a bioeconomic (synergy) explanation for the mole-rat strategy: `We hypothesize that naked mole-rats live in groups because of several ecological factors.
Naked mole-rats have poor vision, but they don't need to see in their dark burrows.
Naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours in low-oxygen conditions that would kill an adult human within minutes.
Naked mole-rat milk contains more water than other rodents', possibly to keep the young hydrated in arid habitats.
The researchers placed naked mole-rats in a system of cages in which some areas contained air with acidic fumes.
Caption: Most naked mole-rats never have babies, but a queen can have three litters a year with a dozen pups each.
0045060) In a recent paper published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago delved into how naked mole-rats are able to survive in carbon dioxide-rich environments that would be too acidic and painful for us to survive in.
If you're ever attacked by an African naked mole-rat, don't bother with pepper spray.