Ahem….Ladies, gentlemen, children, and anyone else who is gonna say, “Huhhhhhh!!! what the frick is that?” I present to you, my newest favorite critter:
So butt ugly, its cute. Well, maybe cute is stretching it. This beastie looks like it survived Chernobyl, but not in a good way.
Notice I did not say something like, “this is photographic evidence of why first cousins should not marry.” That would be a mean thing to say. I have no knowledge of this beastie’s parentage.
This is a unique species and it resides with you and me on this very planet. Here are some true facts about the naked mole rat courtesy of Wikipedia:
Heterocephalus glaber is the Latin term for it. I like the sound of this term. Heterocephalus Glaber would make a great name for a German kid. It would be a bitch for the kid to learn how to spell it, and he would probably get writer’s cramp learning how to print it. But, boy howdy, what a cool conversation starter.
It goes by other names. In the real world, where most folks don’t speak in pure Latin, you will hear this beastie referred to as a sand puppy or a desert mole rat. Puppy? Hmmm…. picture, please, what the word “puppy” brings to mind and then take a look at the picture. Quit laughing. This is serious science I am presenting here!
It is native to East Africa, predominately Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Thank gosh for that. I’m not likely to come across one in my garden anytime soon.
They have little hair. That’s pretty much stating the obvious.
The live in burrows underground. Well, I can understand this. I’m fairly certain that these critters would appear better looking in areas of reduced lighting.
The adults eat roots that they find underground. The kids eat, and I am not making this up, people, mole crap. Yep, yep, yep…… The adult naked mole rats feed the young ones mole crap until the young ones can fend for themselves in the adult naked mole rat world. How many, many, human teenagers can relate to this concept. On a social level, of course. Not saying their parents can’t cook worth a rat’s ass. Sorry, couldn’t keep myself from thinking this. I had to share.
They are a eusocial society. This means that they are a mammal version of a
bee hive. There is one queen. She keeps one to three breeding males in her circle of best buddies. Every other mole is temporarily sexless. If the queen bites it, aka dies, there is a temporary free for all amongst the females, who battle each other to near death for the privilege of being the next queen. Gads, that sounds just like what goes on during an episode of The Bachelor! After the girl fight is over and a new queen is crowned, the males become sexual again. They do whatever it is male naked mole rats do to impress a girl enough that she will agree to become their sugar momma.
Once the queen has chosen her man or men, the rest of the crew reverts back to the status of sex deprived worker rats. Like ants, there are an assortment of employment opportunities for those who are not the queen and her consorts. Some get to be tunnel diggers, while others care for the young and wait on the queen, and the larger ones become soldiers defending the burrow from whatever it is that eats naked mole rats.
There are ever so many more amazing things you may desire to know about the naked mole rat. Be the first in your social group to acquire this knowledge! Friends will be envious of your brain power! Visit the following sites to increase your awareness of the fabulous and amazingly unique naked mole rat.
To read up on the subject of naked mole rats visit Wikipedia, as did I.
This planet we call earth is such an awesome place, my friends. I hope I never forget to be thankful that I remain aware of this fact.
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