Fun Facts

Naked mole rats are very strange animals that most people have only heard about if they watched the cartoon Kim Possible when they were younger. Here are some interesting facts about this amazing creature to take with you.

1) Naked mole rats are the only cold-blooded mammal (Cimons, 2010).
2)Despite their name, they are more closely related to porcupines and guinea pigs than they are to either moles or rats (Zielinski, 2011).
3)They are one of two eusocial mammal species (the other being another species of mole rats- the Damaraland Mole Rat) (San Diego Zoo, 2012).
4)The members of one colony of naked mole rats will roll around in the waste chamber so everyone of that colony will smell the same. This helps them detect an intruder more easily (San Diego Zoo, 2012).
5)Their underground tunnel system can take up as much space as six football fields combined (San Diego Zoo, 2012).
6)Their burrows are very complex, and contain specialized rooms, like our homes, for eating, expelling waste, and raising the young (San Diego Zoo, 2012).
7)They are not blind, although they have very poor eyesight (Zielinski, 2011).
8)Their incisors can be moved independently from one another, and can even work together like a pair of chopsticks (Zielinski, 2011).
9)Nobody has ever found cancer in a naked mole rat, they seem to be resistant to the disease (Zielinski, 2011).
10)Young naked mole rats eat nothing but the feces of the adults (Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 2011).

The naked mole rat fits into the Halloween theme of this semester in a couple ways. First, naked mole rats live their entire lives in the dark. When people think of Halloween, they think of scary ghosts, and witches, and black cats, all of which are associated with the dark of night. Another way they can be tied to Halloween is that they are very odd looking creatures, and Halloween is a time when people like to dress up as strange creatures for fun.

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