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Curious About the Naked Mole Rat

What if naked is gnarly?

What: The naked mole rat is a bucktoothed, hairless, wrinkly, pink skinned, totally naked, one-of-a-kind rodent.

Who: All alone :( the naked mole rat is the lone member of the Heterocephalidae family--if you're curious, you can discover who the naked mole rat's closest relatives are in The Screaming Hairy Armadillo.

When: Since they anin't got no clothes on, when it gets chilly naked mole rats will crowd together in their underground colonies to keep warm.

Where: Naked mole rats live in underground tunnel systems throughout East African deserts.

How: Those buck teeth aren't just for looks. How strong are they? Strong enough to eat through concrete!

Why: Why are they called naked mole rats if they are naked, but they're neither moles nor rats? Because they live underground like moles, and have tails that look like the tail of a rat.

Huh?: Naked mole rats are huge recyclers: they've adapted to digest additional nutrients from the same food they already ate... that's right, they eat their own poo.

Wow!: Scientists are studying naked mole rats not for what they're missing on the outside, but what they're able to do on the inside: naked mole rats have a chemical called hyaluronan that blocks the formation of cancer tumors... what if what these scientists discover studying naked mole rats is how to fight cancer and aging in humans?!

Keep getting curious about animals with The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and it's free Educator's Guide!


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