In our last article on Naked Mole Rats, we learned about their general characteristics and their colony structure. We learned what the Queen rodent does and what are the jobs assigned to the workers and soldiers. However, that wasn’t enough. Let us learn another set of 20 fascinating Naked Mole Rat facts. This time we will learn about their food habits, location and size of their colony, how they make their tunnels and how they navigate through those tunnels. And yes, we will learn why they are called Naked! So, let us begin…
Note: This article has been created as a continuation of the previous article on Naked Mole Rats. So, it will be best understood if you first read the FIRST PART.
Fascinating Naked Mole Rat Facts: 1-5 | Food Habits, Water, Colony Location and Size
1. [highlight]The Naked Mole Rats actually eat their own poop as well.[/highlight] Disgusting but needed! The reason they do this is that the tubers they eat are pretty difficult to digest. So, they eat their poop so extract more nutrient out of the food.
2. [highlight]Do Naked Mole Rats drink water?[/highlight] Naked Mole Rats never dig for water. They don’t need to drink water simply because the extract all the moisture they need from the tubers and roots that they eat.
3. [highlight]Where do Naked Mole Rats build their colonies?[/highlight] They usually thrive in the areas that have large numbers of plants with pretty large underground roots.
4. The tunnels they dig can be right under the surface or can reach up to the depth of 6.5 feet (2 meters). These tunnels have branches and interconnections. The total tunnel length can be up to 2.5 miles.
5. A particular colony’s tunnel system can be very large (in terms of area covered). The whole area covered by a single tunnel system of a typical Naked Mole Rat colony can be as large as the area covered by 6 football fields!
Fascinating Naked Mole Rat Facts: 6-10 | Tunnel System, Intruding Colony
6. The chambers inside a tunnel system are located strategically to ensure that the whole system remains clean and healthy. The rooms or chambers are located at different points in a tunnel system and this ensures safety of the members of the colony.
7. It is not really unusual to have multiple tunnel systems located in close proximity. Each individual tunnel system is owned by a separate colony of Naked Mole Rats.
8. The question is, [highlight]’if there are several tunnel systems in close proximity, how do the members of a particular colony identify the members of a different colony?’[/highlight] They basically make use of their sense of smell because their eyesight is poor.
9. The members of each colony will go to their bathroom chamber and roll on the fecal matter and urine. This will give then a common smell.
10. When members of a different colony intrude or come in accidentally, they are identified easily with the smell. The members of a different colony will have a different type of smell.