Why I love naked mole rats so much, by Stephanie Orefice

I’ve noticed that throughout my life, I tend to side with the underdog. I recognize this as what I like to call “extreem polar favoritism” though there’s probably some technically name for it. It’s the idea that within me, I immediately side with the one who is most likely to be least liked.

This idea is sprawled out all through my life. For example, my favorite TV shows are reality shows, and nobody ever praises them for being quality television. My favorite movies are ones like Legally Blonde and 13 Going on 30, filled with pink and shiny things. Maybe this all stems from me being a Hanson fan growing up. They were definitely underdogs. Still are, I think.

Anyway. That reason, my “extreme polar favoritism” is why I believe my favorite animal is a cute little almost bald creature known at the naked mole rat.

There it is. I want to tell you about this incredibly little guy, because they’re just so awesome.

  • Naked mole rats are eusocial, meaning they live like a herd of bees. There is one queen (who is kind of mean sometimes) who makes all of the babies. Most of the naked mole rats live a life of celibacy, because if the queen naked mole rat sees you are trying to make babies, she gets ANGRY and she pushes you with her nose for a long time. They have worker naked mole rats and even a nursery in their colony, so some are nursery worker naked mole rats.
  • They have really bad eyesight but rely heavily on their sense of touch (their little whiskers help navigate the tunnels!) and smell and hearing. As far as taste goes, I don’t think they have a good sense of taste because they eat their own poop.
  • NMRs are not moles or rats, but are more like a chinchilla or a porcupine.
  • When the Queen NMR is dying, soldier naked mole rats will start getting big and fat and fighting to become the next one. Sometimes they even die in their fight to become queen! The queens kind of seem mean, so this makes sense.
  • If a snake is trying to eat them, a soldier naked mole rat might try to block the tunnel.. but if that doesn’t work, it will attack the snake and risk (sometimes lose) its life so the other ones can get away.
  • They’re not really big on hygiene. They roll in their own poo and pee so that their colony will all have a distinct smell. Maybe I don’t want to hold one so badly anymore.
  • Basically naked mole rats are awesome and I want to have a colony of them as pets.

This is a big fat one, so I think its a queen.

This is a big fat one, so I think it's a queen.


3 thoughts on “Why I love naked mole rats so much, by Stephanie Orefice

  1. I really am sorry to say this, but your description of their social system made them all the more creepy to me.

  2. Pingback: Giant squids are awesome. « just a little bit louder.

  3. Pingback: Giant squids are awesome. - stephanieorefice.net

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