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Living in large colonies, the nearly blind naked mole-rat spends its entire life excavating tunnels underground in search of roots and tubers.  The colony is led by a single breeding female called the queen that mates with several males. All other colony  members forgo breeding to raise the pups, forage, and maintain the burrow.

a bunch of naked mole rats

Did You Know?

Digging tunnels, gnawing roots, and defending against intruders are all functions of the naked mole-rat’s enormous incisors.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Heterocephalus glaber

Eastern Africa


3 to 4 in

Up to 30 years

Zoo Location:
World of the Insect

Roots and tubers