Naked mole rats are one of two mammalian species that are eusocial. So they live in a hierarchy.
This may sound familiar to you from somewhere. Of wasps and ants… a colony of naked mole rats consists of 20-300 individuals. Each colony has a queen, soldiers and workers. Being a queen is not easy, the female has to fight for it. The task of the soldiers is to protect the queen and the colony from enemies, the task of the workers is to dig tunnels.
Neither mouse nor mole!
Despite their name, naked mole rats are more closely related to hedgehogs and guinea pigs than to rats and moles.
They’re not completely hairless…
You may not be able to see any feathers, but they do have some small hairs on their face, tail and between their toes. These feathers help them find their way in dark tunnels and sweep the ground as they burrow.
Naked mole rats live underground their entire lives, and their habitat can be the size of six football fields. Their houses are lined with tunnels and no matter how cold or hot it is outside, it is 30°C thanks to these tunnels. Naked mole rats are masters at tunneling, creating rooms and squares connected by tunnels to keep their colonies safe and healthy.