The naked mole rat is indigenous to Africa, specifically in the east. This organism is typically found in the countries that make up the horn of Africa, including: Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya (Atlanta Zoo, 2012). Naked mole rats live in a series of connected underground tunnels in very large colonies upwards of 250 members. These tunnels can span two to three miles in cumulative length, and are usually very warm, completely dark, and have quite low levels of oxygen (Atlanta Zoo, 2012). Naked mole rats have had to adjust to the low levels of oxygen underground in order to live successfully. I will discuss this adjustment further in the adaptations section. Also, since the tunnels are completely dark, most of these organisms have nearly or entirely lost the use of their eyes.

Being one of two mammals that lives in a true eusocial group, their colony system is set up in a very unique way. There is one queen who is the leader of the colony. She controls the activity of all other group members. This behavior was further studied by Hudson K. Reeve in 1992. He found that if one member is slacking, the queen may use aggression in order to show that she is in charge and that they better increase their performance. His study also states why the queen naked mole rat may show aggression toward members of her colony. It is thought that these aggressive behaviors tend to be far more frequent when there is a food shortage or some other type of threat to the well-being of the colony than when the group is well off.

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