Naked Mole Rat

Naked Mole Rat

Heterocephalus glaber

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Quick Facts
Body: 3.1 to 3.6 inchest;Tail: 1.1 to 1.7 inches"
1.2 to 2.8 ounces
Wild diet: Roots and tubers
Zoo Diet: Sweet potaotes, carrots, apples, leafy veggies, grapes, bananas, and various chows.

Arid regions of central and eastern Ethiopia, central Somalia, and Kenya

Habitat: Underground colonies consisting of extensive and complex burrow systems in hard clay soil.

Looks aren't everything

To us, naked mole-rats may not be the most attractive of creatures.  They are about the size of a thumb, and have little to no hair, with wrinkly pink or yellowish skin.  Their eyes are so tiny that they're almost useless.  Naked mole-rats have big, buck teeth (used for digging) that stick out beyond their mouth.  It's not too surprising that some people liken these strange creatures to sausages with legs!


Naked mole-rats are rodents that live under ground in the deserts of Africa. They are found in tight-knit colonies of 20 to 30 (and occasionally up to 100) members. A complex series of burrows and connecting tunnels protect these rodents from the harsh desert conditions above ground. It’s like an underground town, and they rarely leave it. They scurry through the tunnels, moving backward as fast as they move forward.

Status in the Wild

Listed as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

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