The original thought was that it appeared in naked mole-rats due to inbreeding which resulted from the lack of dispersion. But the Damaraland mole-rat, which is an out-breeder, also displays eusociality. Instead, eusociality seems to arise from the environmental constraints of high habitat saturation.
What is special about mole-rats?
Their tiny eyes are not much use underground, but they can still see a little bit. However, mole-rats rely on their senses of hearing, smell, and touch more than they do their sight. Researchers have studied them in both light and dark environments and find their behavior doesn’t change.
Do mole-rats live in groups?
Mole rats have a more diverse and complex social organization than laboratory mice and rats ranging from solitary to highly social, depending on the species, where some of them are polygamous and other monogamous (Oosthuizen, 2017).
We argue that eusociality in mole-rats evolved from a monogamous mating system where cooperative brood care was already established. A tendency for group living is considered to be an ancestral (plesiomorph) trait among African bathyergid mole-rats, linking them to other hystricognath rodents.
Why do mole rats not feel pain?
Over the centuries of living in tunnels in East Africa, naked mole rats lost the painful sensitivity to heat that follows injuries in humans and other animals. They don’t feel this because of a tiny alteration to a molecule involved in pain sensation, according to results published today in the journal Cell Reports.
What is a bunch of mole rats called?
8 ) A colony of naked mole rats can consist of 20 to 300 individuals. Their underground territory can be as large as six football fields. 9 ) The burrow has rooms for specific purposes, such as nesting, raising young, eating and, um, waste disposal.