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Young naked mole rat

Young naked mole rat

Z918/0113

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Credit

NEIL BROMHALL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NEIL BROMHALL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) eating its faeces (autocoprophagy) in its burrow. The naked mole rat is a rodent that lives in underground colonies in eastern Africa. It is herbivorous, feeding on roots and tubers. The colony is remarkable as it is organised in a similar manner to those of ants and bees. Only one female, the queen, breeds. She mates with up to three dominant males. The rest of the mole rats in the colony are workers, tending the young, defending the breeding animals, finding food and expanding the burrow system. This is known as a eusocial colony. A naked mole rat may reach 15cm in length. The queen is longer than the workers.

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