DC Zoo Has Naked Mole Rat Queen After Birth of Jelly Bean-Sized Pups

The Smithsonian National Zoo now has a naked mole rat queen. The wrinkly, nearly hairless mammal gave birth to four pups on Monday, making her the sole breeder in the zoo's naked mole rat colony.

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The queen can expect competition, Kenton Kerns, assistant curator of the Small Mammal House, said. "She will always have to defend that title of queen. And the other females will come up to her and try to kill her. But she, being so much bigger than the rest, will make sure that she continues to be queen," he said.
NBC Washington
Most naked mole rats weigh 1 to 1.5 ounces. The queen is twice as large, at as much as 2.5 ounces.
Smithsonian National Zoo
It's been 32 years since naked mole rats were born at the zoo and survived.
Naked mole rats may have lessons for other mammals; they're highly resistant to cancer, Kerns, the zoo curator, said.
Naked mole rats are found in eastern Africa, especially in Ethiopia, Dijbouti, Kenya and Somalia.
Smithsonian National Zoo
The naked mole rats' new habitat has 16 chambers and nearly 25 feet of winding tunnels. Also, ample room for napping.
NBC Washington
If you want to go visit the naked mole rats, the Small Mammal House is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also, you can watch the naked mole rats 24/7 on the Naked Mole Rat Cam, if you're into that sort of thing.
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