For the month when we’re celebrating Animal Wonders, we couldn’t think of a better featured creature than the naked mole rats at the National Zoo! Naked mole rats are some of the strangest animals on Earth. They look kind of like a thumb with teeth, and they live in colonies of up to 80 individuals in underground burrows in Eastern Africa.
Scientists are especially interested in naked mole rats because they’re such unusual animals. They live in groups with a queen, like bees or ants, and their bodies work very differently from many other mammals. They can survive with far less oxygen than most other mammals, they don’t process pain the same way that most mammals do, they’re highly resistant to cancers.
If you’re intrigued by these critters, you can keep an eye on them through the National Zoo’s live webcam!