Monday, May 9, 2016

Mammal Monday -- Naked Mole Rats!

One of my favorite exhibits at the Smithosonian's National Zoo is the naked mole rat exhibit.  I love watching these little guys crawl through their tunnels and over one another.  But many people aren't as fascinated or charmed by naked mole rats as I am (we'll agree to disagree), so why should we be interested in these creatures?  Here are a few reasons:

  • they're the only ectothermic mammal that we know of
  • they're the only eusocial mammals that we know of -- they live in a social structure similar to honeybees
  • their cells may hold keys to helping us age better and cure cancer!
Check out this ScienceFriday video on these wonderful creatures:

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