Naked, Living Underground, And Feeling No Pain

This is one strange little hairless creature. It is an African rodent commonly called the Naked Mole Rat. These rodents live almost exclusively underground in tunnel systems that can extend for up to three miles. Their uniqueness doesn’t end with just their looks.

One amazing thing about them is they are cancer free. Scientists believe this is because of a special gene called P16. But whatever the cause they are the longest living rodents in the world with life spans of over 20 years. The oldest on record was 28 years.

They live in colonies very similar to ant colonies. The average colony consists of around 80 rats. Each colony has one queen, and a few mating males. The rest of the colony population is made up of sterile workers, which gather food, and soldiers, which protect the colony from intruders. These, and another type of mole rat, are the only mammals to live this way.

Their lungs are small, but their bodies use oxygen very effectively. They can almost shut down their metabolism for long periods of time. They also can’t feel pain because of the lack of a neurotransmitter and they cannot regulate their body temperature like other mammals. The complexity and size of God's creation never ceases to amaze me.

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