Naked Mole Rat

(Heterocephalus glaber)

Mammal | Africa

naked mole rat

Animal Info

Seneca Park Zoo is home to two colonies of naked mole rats. Their habitat is located inside the new Animals of the Savanna building.

Status in the Wild

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least Concern. This species occurs in many protected areas throughout their natural range, and has a well-established breeding population in conservation care.


Naked mole rats are found in the grasslands of Somalia, central Ethiopia, and northern and eastern Kenya. They dig underground tunnels and can survive with minimal oxygen.


As herbivores, naked mole rats primarily feed on tubers.

Did you know?

A common alternative name for the naked mole rat is “sand puppy”.

Naked mole rats are one of two mammal species that are eusocial, living in colonies much like bees and ants, with one queen. The queen must earn the position, and becomes the only breeding female in the colony.

Naked mole rats have adaptations to resist aging and cancer. They are being studied by scientists to see if these adaptations can be applied to save human lives.

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