Fun Naked Mole-rat Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
Naked mole-rat facts like each naked mole rat colony typically has 75-80 individuals are very interesting.

Naked mole rats are a cold blooded species (rodents) that are commonly found in the tropical grasslands of East African countries such as Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. They, along with the Damaraland mole rats are rodent species that are referred to as eusocial mammals and as of now, no other eusocial mammals have been identified by humankind.

They are burrowing rodents and spend most of their lives underground in colonies where they huddle together. A naked mole rat boasts of several unique physical traits that allow it to thrive in the harshness of the underground environments that it inhabits throughout its life.

Some of the most well known traits of the species are the lack of pain sensitivity of its skin and incredibly low respiratory and metabolic rates.

In this post, we'll take you through the most interesting facts about the rodent species known as the naked mole rat. So, if you're interested in knowing more about naked mole rat habitat, naked mole-rat size, or naked mole rat babies, read on! For more unique facts articles on Kidadl, check out shrew and short beaked echidna.

Naked Mole-Rat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a naked mole-rat?

A naked mole-rat is a rodent.

What class of animal does a naked mole-rat belong to?

The naked mole-rat belongs to the Mammalia class.

How many naked mole-rats are there in the world?

An accurate count is not available. But there are many, so there is no need to worry.

Where does a naked mole-rats live?

Naked mole-rats live in the tropical rainforest.

What is a naked mole-rat's habitat?

A naked mole rat, from its birth, lives in the underground environments of tropical grasslands and rainforests found across East Africa. Some of the countries with the highest reported population of naked mole rats include Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia; all three of which are countries that are located in East Africa.

They develop underground tunnel systems that may be 3-5 km long and huddle together in burrows in clusters. Each cluster averages around 75-80 naked mole rats.

Who do naked mole-rats live with?

Naked mole rats live in packs.

How long does a naked mole-rat live?

Naked mole rats are rodents who boast of an impressive lifespan. Starting from birth, they can grow up to be more than 30 years old. Due to the long naked mole rat lifespan, they are regarded as the longest living rodent on Earth.

How do they reproduce?

Like most other mammals, naked mole rats reproduce sexually. Not all females in a colony reproduce - only one does. The breeding female is referred to as the Queen. Among the male members of a colony, only two or three reproduce, while the rest of the non-reproducing males and females function as workers.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of naked mole rats is of Least concern as it is widely found in East Africa.

Naked Mole-Rat Fun Facts

What do naked mole-rats look like?

Naked mole-rats look like typical rodents. However, unlike other common rodents encountered across households such as mice and rats, a naked mole rat heterocephalus doesn't have much hair. Its skin appears wrinkled and can be pinkish or yellowish in color.

Now let's talk about the naked mole rat face. They have small eyes and their visual acuity is among the poorest as far as rodents are concerned.

They have protruding teeth that are quite large and they use their teeth to dig. Soil is prevented from filling their mouths as they dig thanks to the sealed lips behind their teeth. Their legs are short and thin.

Not all the naked mole rats in a naked mole rat colony reproduce. Most naked mole rats in a colony are workers.

How do they communicate?

How a black naked mole rat Heterocephalus glaber communicates with another is still not entirely understood. However, what little research has been undertaken to understand the communication of naked mole rats has revealed that they use a wide variety of bird-like chirps and other sounds (up to 25) to communicate with one another.

Research has also revealed that the sounds tend to sound different from one colony of naked mole rats to another, which suggests that the sounds they use to communicate is learned and not an innate feature.

How big is a naked mole-rat?

One of the most astounding naked mole rat facts for kids is that a naked mole rat is much smaller when compared to a brown rat. While a fully grown brown rat may be up to 28 cm long, a fully grown naked mole rat is only 8-10 cm long.

How fast can a naked mole-rat run?

The peak speed that can be achieved by naked mole rats is three miles (5 km) per hour.

How much does a naked mole-rat weigh?

Typical males and females weigh 30-35 grams. However, the Queen weighs more than 50 grams, which is significantly more than the weight of typical males and females.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no separate male and female names of naked mole rats.

What would you call a baby naked mole-rat?

Baby naked mole rats are referred to as pups.

What do they eat?

The food of naked mole rats typically include large tubers that are over a thousand times of the body weight of naked mole rats. Naked mole rat teeth, which are big and protruding help them to bite and chew tubers.

Occasionally, naked mole rates are also known to eat the feces that they excrete from their body. It's important for you to maintain the proper naked mole rat diet if you want to keep one as your pet.

Are they dangerous?

No, naked mole rats aren't dangerous. They tend to stay hidden from their predators and are focused on their own lives along with furthering their colonies.

Would they make a good pet?

It is quite unusual for people to adopt naked mole rats as pets. However, if you do decide to adopt one as your pet, you can expect them to be funny little companions.

Do keep in mind that keeping a rodent as a pet is very different from keeping a pet cat or dog. You should research as much as possible online regarding what you need to successfully keep one or multiple pups as your pets.

Did you know...

One of the most surprising true facts about the naked mole rat is that it is highly resistant to cancer. This is due to the fact that naked mole rats possess a gene that prevents cell division.

Scientists have also revealed that naked mole rats have hyaluronan in abundance. Hyaluronan is a sugary natural substance that acts as an anti-cancer agent. Hyaluronan is present in many other animals as well, including humans.

However, humans and other animals are susceptible to cancer simply because they don't have enough of the substance within their bodies. Yet more research revealed that the reason behind the naked mole rat's resistance to cancer is due to error-free proteins produced by ribosomes.

How long can naked mole rat hold their breath?

We've already spoken at length about naked mole rat longevity and the naked mole rat eusocial mammal behaviour.

However, now, it's time to look at yet another unique characteristic of the naked mole rat, the ability of the African naked mole rat to survive in an environment devoid of oxygen.

This ability is due to the fact that both a non-pregnant and pregnant naked mole rat have hemoglobin with a high oxygen affinity along with underdeveloped lungs.

In an environment that contains only 5% oxygen, a naked mole rat can survive for up to five hours and continue to participate in normal activities without any sign of fatigue or distress.

In an atmosphere that has no oxygen, it can survive for up to 18 minutes.

Having your own naked mole-rat pet

Naked mole rats are often housed in zoos, so if there is a zoo in your locality, you can get in touch with it to see if there any possible means to adoption. It's unclear as to what a naked mole rat price is.

It's important that you care for your naked mole rat if you decide to keep one as your pet. Providing care and nutrition to naked mole rats is quite similar to how you would take care of a pet rat or mouse.

Formulated rodent pellets are available that you can feed your pet rat. Blending seed-based food and grains is also a good idea once in a while as it would offer a bit of variety to the naked mole rat.  You can also feed your naked mole rat small quantities of vegetables and fruits.

You should also provide certain toys to your naked mole rat such as wheels, tunnels, willow balls, paper egg cartons, ladders, cotton ropes, and wooden blocks and boxes. These toys will ensure that your pet rat stays entertained and in a good mood.

Naked mole rats encounter very few health conditions. However, wet tail, a common ailment in rodents, may be encountered.

The condition typically presents itself with symptoms such as walking difficulties, lethargy, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. You should take these symptoms seriously and take action as early as possible as the condition progresses rapidly and can be fatal. However, the condition can be reversed if antibiotics are administered by a vet before it becomes serious.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammal including field vole, or gundi.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Naked Mole-Rat coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Chandan Shukla picture

Chandan ShuklaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi, Chandan is a skilled and passionate technophile. He has completed a machine learning training program and is adept in various programming languages. He has been working as a content writer for two years while also striving to become a proficient tech professional.

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