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Naked mole rat

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Naked mole rat
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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Heterocephalus glaber

Naked mole rat
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The naked mole rat is a species of mole known by the scientific name Heterocephalus glaber. It many seem small, unimportant and just uninteresting, but these rodents like most creatures are far from that. These hairless animals are possibly one of the most soil-living adapted animals in the world. Every part of them has been carefully designed to fit the living environments that they are in. God has created these animals to do basic things but in a very unique way. Even from the way they communicate, to the way they breed is very different. Although they are not the most beautiful to look at of Gods creation, they are one of the most fascinating. These animals are far from boring and ordinary.

Anatomy

Heterocephalus glaber

Naked mole rats are very interesting creatures. They are a very very strong evidence for intelligent design. The naked mole rat can grow to be 3to 4 inches in body length by the time its full mature at 1 years old. The average length of the tail can be up to around 3 inches giving the mole rat a weight of 1 to 1.8 ounces. The skin of a naked mole rat is very plain. They have a wrinkled pink skin that protects them in there environment, which is similar to a mole. The tails of these animals are skinny and resemble that of a rat’s tail. But the naked mole rat is neither closely related to a mole or a rat. The animal is more related to porcupines, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. The skin of a naked mole rat is suited to the life style of a naked mole rat. Because they live underground they do not need hair to protect them self’s from the sun. When it gets cold at night they will huddle up and use each others heat to warm them. The only hair that is on there body has a distinct purpose of letting them feel what is around them in the tunnels. These animals also have very small hairs on there feet which can be used to help to move dirt while building tunnels for the colony. Quick facts [1]

The eyes of a naked mole rat are very small and squinty, much like a new born baby. Most people believe that the mole rat is blind and cannot see. It is know however that the mole rat can indeed see but because they spend most of there life in dark tunnels, there eyes are not of much use or help. The teeth of a naked mole rat are very unique as well. There front two teeth are very long and very strong, this is because 25% of the mole rats muscle mass is in the front two teeth of the animal. Just like other rodents, these teeth are needed to gnaw on roots and tubers. These plants also help the teeth of the animal by making sure that they teeth do not grow too big when the animal gnaws on them. Naked mole rat [2] On of the most interesting and most unique attributes of the naked mole rats is the difference between male and female. There appears to be no sexual dimorphism between males and females in the mole rat animals. Although this is true, the two main mole rats found in a colony will be the male workers and the female queen. The female queen is not born into being queen, she must win this status by fighting and killing the current queens. Once she is queen she must fend off other mole rats who wish to take her power from her. After she has become queen, she must physically get ready to start breeding. To do this she will stretch out the spaces between her vertebrae to become larger.

Reproduction

The naked mole rat reproduces sexually and both the male and females are sexually mature with in 1 year of birth. The naked mole rat relies on the one female mole rat that can reproduce, that one female is the queen and they rely on the queen mole to reproduce. Scientists believe that the other females in the colony are unable to reproduce because of a condition called reproduction suppression. This means that the reproductive infertility in the worker moles is not genetic and will only work for a certain amount of time for them. A queen will up to 2-3 male moles to reproduce with. Even though each individual mole rat is capable of reproducing many of them will not unless they are one of the few chosen by the queen. the queen is able to reproduce all year round in captivity, how ever in the wild they usually reproduce once a year with an average of 5 litters a year, with every litter ranging anywhere from 3 to 25 babies. The gestation of the naked mole rats is an average of 70 days with a 4 week weaning time. When the moles are born they are blind and weigh a mass of 2G average. For about the first month of their lives the queen will nurse them. After the first month, the queen will let the other workers in the colony nurse for them.[3] The moles that take care of them will feed them feces from the waste chamber until they are able to eat solid foods. A queen mole rat will live for about 13- 18 years. During her rain she must try and rend off any possible threats to her throne. Other females may try and challenge the queen and if she wishes to remain queen, she must fight them, mostly by killing them. Occasionally the queen will bite the workers to remind them that she is in change and to quell any thoughts or treason.

Ecology

Naked mole rat

These small naked rodents are found mostly in Africa in the arid savannas and grasslands biomes. Although they are not limited to Africa they prefer the crop filled lands near the equator where it is warmest. They can also be found in areas around South Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. They are drawn to tropical and terrestrial habitats in the world. They need these warm areas so that the sun will keep them warm in there tunnels. The naked mole rats environment is a very simple one. They will live most of there lives in dark cramp tunnels in the ground where they will dig tunnels and burrow into the ground. The average number of naked mole rats that live together is averaging to about 75- 80 in one chain of tunnels. Most of these mole rats are the workers who spend there lives digging much like ants do. In accumulative length a mole rat tunnel system can run any where to around 2-3 miles long. The system of which the moles live by resembles that of an ant colony. There is only one female and 2-3 males will reproduce, and the rest is assigned to jobs. The rest of the population will either be diggers. Diggers work inside the tunnels and work to dig farther and farther. The other class that a mole rat can be put into is a soldier. The soldier moles will stand guard and alert and protect the rest of the mole rats from out side intruders.[4] The tunnels that the mole rats build are also very resemblance of a ant hill. There are many different chamber including the queens chamber, the feeding chamber, and the toilet chamber

Other

These small creatures, hairless and shriveled, may seem like defenseless and vulnerable animals, but studies from scientists are proving that they are far from that. the naked mole rat lives in cold , dark, light-less homes and are nearly blind, to make up for the lost of there sight, they have an amazing ability and sensitivity to feel and to touch. However, the naked mole rat may not be sensitive to every touch. Studies show that the naked mole rat is immune to the pain of acid and chili peppers. They have looked and studied and found that the animal lacks a certain chemical called chemical Substance P. chemical Substance P is the chemicals in the bodies of mammals that are responsible for the feeling of burn sensation. These small creatures seem to lack that chemical and therefore are immune to that pain. Researchers and scientists have taken information and are trying to use this to help mankind. The naked mole rat has been apart of medical research, trying to make new types of pain killers for chronic pain, such as pulling a muscle. Even though these creatures live beneath the ground in the dark and a rarely seen, they may prove to be very useful and help thousands of people on the earth. [5]

References