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Naked Mole-rat

Heterocephalus glaber

Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Bathyergidae

Appearance
Very little hair; some whiskers and hair on their feet. Skin is wrinkly, pink or greyish-pink. Very large incisors are used to excavate tunnels. Short, broad head contains powerful jaw muscles. Tiny eyes, no external ears. About seven centimeters (three inches) long, and 30 to 70 grams (one to 2.4 ounces).

Home Range
Eastern Africa—Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

Habitat
Exclusively in underground tunnels and burrows in semi-arid, grassy regions

Diet
Herbivorous, mostly tubers and roots

Reproduction
After 70 to 80 days, ten to 27 pups are born.

Social Structure
Only known mammal to be eusocial (living in a colony like termites and ants) with a caste system. Colonies range from 20 to 300 individuals, with one breeding female (the queen) and one to three breeding males. Other males and females do not breed, and are either workers or soldiers.

Life span
Ten to 30 years

Predators
Mostly snakes, such as the rufous-beaked snake.



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