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Naked Mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) Fact Sheet: Bibliography & Resources


Alexander RD. 1991. Some unanswered questions about naked mole-rats. In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 446–465.

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Barker AJ, Veviurko G, Bennett NC, Hart DW, Mograby L, Lewin GR. 2021. Cultural transmission of vocal dialect in the naked mole-rat. Science. 371(6528):503–507. doi:10.1126/science.abc6588.

Bennett NC, Ganswindt A, Ganswindt SB, Jarvis JUM, Zöttl M, Faulkes CG. 2018. Evidence for contrasting roles for prolactin in eusocial naked mole-rats, Heterocephalus glaber and Damaraland mole-rats, Fukomys damarensis. Biol Lett. 14(5):20180150.

Berkovitz BKB, Faulkes CG. 2001. Eruption rates of the mandibular incisors of naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber). J. Zool. Lond. 255:461-466.

Braude S. 1991a. Which naked mole-rats volcano? In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 185–194.

Braude S. 2000. Dispersal and new colony formation in wild naked mole-rats: evidence against inbreeding as the system of mating. Behav Ecol. 11(1):7–12. doi:10.1093/beheco/11.1.7.

Braude S, Ciszek D, Berg NE, Shefferly N. 2001. The ontogeny and distribution of countershading in colonies of the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). J Zool. 253(3):351–357. doi:10.1017/S0952836901000322.

Brett RA. 1986. The ecology and behavior of the naked molerat Heterocephalus glaber (Rüppell) (Rodentia: Bathyergidae) [Ph.D. thesis]. [United Kingdom]: University of London.

Brett RA. 1991a. The ecology of naked mole-rat colonies: burrowing, food, and limiting factors. In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 137–184.

Brett RA. 1991b. The population structure of naked mole-rat colonies. In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 97–136.

Buffenstein R. 1996. Ecophysiological responses to a subterranean habitat; a Bathyergid perspective. Mammalia. 60(4):591–606. doi:10.1515/mamm.1996.60.4.591.

Buffenstein R, Yahav S. 1991a. Is the naked mole-rat Hererocephalus glaber an endothermic yet poikilothermic mammal? J Therm Biol. 16(4):227–232. doi:10.1016/0306-4565(91)90030-6.

Buffenstein R, Yahav S. 1991b. The effect of diet on microfaunal population and function in the caecum of a subterranean naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. Br J Nutr. 65(2):249–258. doi:10.1079/BJN19910084.

Carmignani K. Mole-rats: the naked truth. Feb 2005. ZOONOOZ LXXIVII (No. 2): 8-14.

Catania KC, Remple MS. 2002. Somatosensory cortex dominated by the representation of teeth in the naked mole-rat brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 99(8):5692–5697. doi:10.1073/pnas.072097999.

Ciszek D. 2000. New colony formation in the “highly inbred” eusocial naked mole-rat: outbreeding is preferred. Behav Ecol. 11(1):1–6. doi:10.1093/beheco/11.1.1.

Clarke FM, Faulkes CG. 1997. Dominance and queen succession in captive colonies of the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 264(1384):993–1000. doi:10.1098/rspb.1997.0137.

Clarke FM, Faulkes CG. 1998. Hormonal and behavioural correlates of male dominance and reproductive status in captive colonies of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 265(1404):1391–1399. doi:10.1098/rspb.1998.0447.

Clarke FM, Faulkes CG. 1999. Kin discrimination and female mate choice in the naked mole-rat Heterocephalus glaber. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 266(1432):1995–2002. doi:10.1098/rspb.1999.0877.

Clarke FM, Faulkes CG. 2001. Intracolony aggression in the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. Anim Behav. 61(2):311–324. doi:10.1006/anbe.2000.1573.

Courtney J. The bald and the beautiful: presenting the naked mole-rats. Jan 1993. ZOONOOZ LXVI (No. 1): 10-13.

Cox PG, Faulkes CG. 2014. Digital dissection of the masticatory muscles of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber (Mammalia, Rodentia). PeerJ. 2:e448. doi:10.7717/peerj.448.

Credner S, Burda H, Ludescher F. 1997. Acoustic communication underground: vocalization characteristics in subterranean social mole-rats (Cryptomys sp., Bathyergidae). J Comp Physiol [A]. 180(3):245–255. doi:10.1007/s003590050045.

Crish SD, Dengler-Crish CM, Catania KC. 2006. Central visual system of the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol. 288A(2):205–212. doi:10.1002/ar.a.20288.

Crish SD, Park TJ, Comer CM. 2000. Orienting behavior mediated by an array of body vibrissae in naked mole-rats. Soc Neurosci Abstr. 26:215.

Daly TJM, Buffenstein R. 1998. Skin morphology and its role in thermoregulation in mole-rats, Heterocephalus glaber and Cryptomys hottentotus. J Anat. 193(4):495–502. doi:10.1046/j.1469-7580.1998.19340495.x.

Dammann P, Burda H. 2006. Sexual activity and reproduction delay ageing in a mammal. Curr Biol. 16(4):R117–R118. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.02.012.

Delaney MA, Ward JM, Walsh TF, Chinnadurai SK, Kerns K, Kinsel MJ, Treuting PM. 2016. Initial case reports of cancer in naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber). Vet Pathol. 53(3):691–696. doi:10.1177/0300985816630796.

Dennis JC, Stilwell NK, Smith TD, Park TJ, Bhatnagar KP, Morrison EE. 2019. Is the mole rat vomeronasal organ functional? Anat Rec. doi:10.1002/ar.24060.

Drake-Brockman RE. 1910. The mammals of Somaliland. London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd.

Edrey YH, Hanes M, Pinto M, Mele J, Buffenstein R. 2011. Successful aging and sustained good health in the naked mole rat: a long-lived mammalian model for biogerontology and biomedical research. ILAR J. 52(1):41–53. doi:10.1093/ilar.52.1.41.

Evfratov SA, Smkalova EM, Golovin AV, Logvina NA, Zvereva MI, Dontsova OA. 2014. Structural features of the telomerase RNA gene in the naked mole rat Heterocephalus glaber. Acta Naturae. 6(2):21.

Faulkes CG, Abbott DH. 1991. Social control of reproduction in breeding and non-breeding male naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber). Reproduction. 93(2):427–435. doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0930427.

Faulkes CG, Abbott DH, Jarvis JUM. 1991. Social suppression of reproduction in male naked mole-rats, Heterocephalus glaber. Reproduction. 91(2):593–604. doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0910593.

Faulkes CG, Abbott DH, Jarvis JUM, Sherriff FE. 1990. LH responses of female naked mole-rats, Heterocephalus glaber, to single and multiple doses of exogenous GnRH. Reproduction. 89(1):317–323. doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0890317.

Faulkes CG, Abbott DH, Mellor AL. 1990. Investigation of genetic diversity in wild colonies of naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) by DNA fingerprinting. J Zool. 221(1):87–97. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1990.tb03778.x.

Faulkes CG, Abbott DH, O’Brien HP, Lau L, Roy MR, Wayne RK, Bruford MW. 1997. Micro‐ and macrogeographical genetic structure of colonies of naked mole‐rats Heterocephalus glaber. Mol Ecol. 6(7):615–628. doi:10.1046/j.1365-294X.1997.00227.x.

Faulkes CG, Bennett NC. 2001. Family values: group dynamics and social control of reproduction in African mole-rats. Trends Ecol Evol. 16(4):184–190. doi:10.1016/S0169-5347(01)02116-4.

Faulkes CG, Bennett NC. 2013. Plasticity and constraints on social evolution in African mole-rats: ultimate and proximate factors. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci. 368(1618):20120347. doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0347.

Faulkes CG, Bennett NC, Bruford MW, O’brien HP, Aguilar GH, Jarvis JUM. 1997. Ecological constraints drive social evolution in the African mole-rats. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 264(1388):1619–1627. doi:10.1098/rspb.1997.0226.

Faulkes CG, Mgode GF, Archer EK, Bennett NC. 2017. Relic populations of Fukomys mole-rats in Tanzania: description of two new species F. livingstoni sp. nov. and F. hanangensis sp. nov. PeerJ. 5:e3214.

Faulkes CG, Trowell SN, Jarvis JUM, Bennett NC. 1994. Investigation of numbers and motility of spermatozoa in reproductively active and socially suppressed males of two eusocial African mole-rats, the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) and the Damaraland mole-rat (Cryptomys damarensis). Reproduction. 100(2):411–416. doi:10.1530/jrf.0.1000411.

Faulkes CG, Verheyen E, Verheyen W, Jarvis JUM, Bennett NC. 2004. Phylogeographical patterns of genetic divergence and speciation in African mole-rats (Family: Bathyergidae). Mol Ecol. 13(3):613–629. doi:10.1046/j.1365-294X.2004.02099.x.

Goldman B, Goldman S, Lanz T, Magaurin A, Maurice A. 1999. Factors influencing metabolic rate in naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber). Physiol Behav. 66(3):447–459. doi:10.1016/S0031-9384(98)00306-0.

Hagen L. 1985. Metrische untersuchungen an Heterocephalus glaber Rüppell 1842 einer sozialen nagetierat [master’s thesis]. [Kiel (Germany)]: Chistian Albrechts University.

Hagenah N, Bennett NC. 2013. Mole rats act as ecosystem engineers within a biodiversity hotspot, the Cape Fynbos. J Zool. 289(1):19–26. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2012.00958.x.

Hamilton WJ Jr. 1928. Heterocephalus, the remarkable African burrowing rodent. Brooklyn Mus Sci Bull. 3:201–221.

Heffner RS, Heffner HE. 1993. Degenerate hearing and sound localization in naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber), with an overview of central auditory structures. J Comp Neurol. 331(3):418–433. doi:10.1002/cne.903310311.

Henry EC, Remple MS, O’Riain MJ, Catania KC. 2006. Organization of somatosensory cortical areas in the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). J Comp Neurol. 495(4):434–452. doi:10.1002/cne.20883.

Hetling JR, Baig-Silva MS, Comer CM, Pardue MT, Samaan DY, Qtaishat NM, Pepperberg DR, Park TJ. 2005. Features of visual function in the naked mole-rat Heterocephalus glaber. J Comp Physiol A. 191(4):317–330. doi:10.1007/s00359-004-0584-6.

Hill WCO, Porter A, Bloom RT, Seago J, Southwick MD. 1957. Field and laboratory studies on the naked mole rat, Heterocephalus glaber. Proc Zool Soc Lond. 128(4):455–514. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1957.tb00272.x.

Holtze S, Eldarov CM, Vays VB, Vangeli IM, Vysokikh MYu, Bakeeva LE, Skulachev VP, Hildebrandt TB. 2016. Study of age-dependent structural and functional changes of mitochondria in skeletal muscles and heart of naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber). Biochem Mosc. 81(12):1429–1437. doi:10.1134/S000629791612004X.

Honeycutt RL, Nelson K, Schlietter DA, Sherman PW. 1991. Genetic variation within and among populations of the naked mole-rat: evidence from nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 195–208.

van der Horst G, Maree L, Kotzé SH, O’Riain MJ. 2011. Sperm structure and motility in the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber: a case of degenerative orthogenesis in the absence of sperm competition? BMC Evol Biol. 11(1):351. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-351.

Ingram CM, Troendle NJ, Gill CA, Braude S, Honeycutt RL. 2015. Challenging the inbreeding hypothesis in a eusocial mammal: population genetics of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. Mol Ecol. 24(19):4848–4865. doi:10.1111/mec.13358.

Jacobs DS, Jarvis JUM. 1996. No evidence for the work-conflict hypothesis in the eusocial naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 39(6):401–409. doi:10.1007/s002650050307.

Jarvis J. 1981. Eusociality in a mammal: cooperative breeding in naked mole-rat colonies. Science. 212(4494):571–573. doi:10.1126/science.7209555.

Jarvis JUM. 1991. Reproduction of naked mole-rats. In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole-rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 384–425.

Jarvis JUM, Bennett NC. 1993. Eusociality has evolved independently in two genera of bathyergid mole-rats — but occurs in no other subterranean mammal. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 33(4):253–260. doi:10.1007/BF02027122.

Jarvis JUM, Sherman PW. 2002. Heterocephalus glaber. Mamm Species. 706:1–9.

Jarvis JUM, Sale JB. 2010. Burrowing and burrow patterns of East African mole-rats Tachyoryctes, Heliophobius and Heterocephalus. J Zoology. 163(4):451–479. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1971.tb04544.x.

Jiang J-J, Cheng L-H, Wu H, He Y-H, Kong Q-P. 2016. Insights into long noncoding RNAs of naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) and their potential association with cancer resistance. Epigenet Chromatin. 9(1):51. doi:10.1186/s13072-016-0101-5.

Johansen K, Lykkeboe G, Weber RE, Maloiy GMO. 1976. Blood respiratory properties in the naked mole rat Heterocephalus glaber, a mammal of low body temperature. Respir Physiol. 28(3):303–314. doi:10.1016/0034-5687(76)90025-6.

Judd TM, Sherman PW. 1996. Naked mole-rats recruit colony mates to food sources. Anim Behav. 52(5):957–969. doi:10.1006/anbe.1996.0244.

Keane M, Craig T, Alfoldi J, Berlin AM, Johnson J, Seluanov A, Gorbunova V, Di Palma F, Lindblad-Toh K, Church GM, et al. 2014. The naked mole rat genome resource: facilitating analyses of cancer and longevity-related adaptations. Bioinformatics. 30(24):3558–3560. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btu579.

Lacey EA, Alexander RD, Braude SH, Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM. 1991. An ethogram for the naked mole-rat: nonvocal behaviors. In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 209–275.

Lacey EA, Sherman PW. 1991. Social organization of naked mole-rat colonies: evidence for divisons of labor. In: Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD, editors. The biology of the naked mole-rat. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. p. 275–336.

Lewis KN, Buffenstein R. 2016. The naked mole-rat. In: Kaeberlein MR, Martin GM, editors. Handbook of the biology of aging. 8th edition. New York (NY): Academic Press. pp 179–204.

Liang S, Mele J, Wu Y, Buffenstein R, Hornsby PJ. 2010. Resistance to experimental tumorigenesis in cells of a long-lived mammal, the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber): Oncogene resistance in naked mole-rat cells. Aging Cell. 9(4):626–635. doi:10.1111/j.1474-9726.2010.00588.x.

Lovegrove BG. 1989. The cost of burrowing by the social mole rats (Bathyergidae) Cryptomys damarensis and Heterocephalus glaber: the role of soil moisture. Physiol Zool. 62(2):449–469. doi:10.1086/physzool.62.2.30156179.

Maina JN, Maloiy GMO, Makanya AN. 1992. Morphology and morphometry of the lungs of two East African mole rats, Tachyoryctes splendens and Heterocephalus glaber (Mammalia, Rodentia). Zoomorphology. 112(3):167–179. doi:10.1007/BF01633107.

Maree S, Faulkes C. 2016. Heterocephalus glaber (errata version published 2017). The IUCN red list of threatened species. Version 2019.2; e.T9987A115095455 (species assessed 2016 Sep 11; page accessed 2019 Aug 13). doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T9987A22184136.en.

Margulis SW, Saltzman W, Abbott DH. 1995. Behavioral and hormonal changes in female naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) following removal of the breeding female from a colony. Horm Behav. 29(2):227–247. doi:10.1006/hbeh.1995.1017.

Mason MJ, Cornwall HL, Smith EStJ. 2016. Ear structures of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber, and its relatives (Rodentia: Bathyergidae). PLOS ONE. 11(12):e0167079. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167079.

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Němec P, Cveková P, Benada O, Wielkopolska E, Olkowicz S, Turlejski K, Burda H, Bennett NC, Peichl L. 2008. The visual system in subterranean African mole-rats (Rodentia, Bathyergidae): Retina, subcortical visual nuclei and primary visual cortex. Brain Res Bull. 75(2–4):356–364. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.10.055.

Nikitina NV, Maughan-Brown B, O’Riain MJ, Kidson SH. 2004. Postnatal development of the eye in the naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Anat Rec. 277A(2):317–337. doi:10.1002/ar.a.20025.

O’Connor TP, Lee A, Jarvis JUM, Buffenstein R. 2002. Prolonged longevity in naked mole-rats: age-related changes in metabolism, body composition and gastrointestinal function. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 133(3):835–842. doi:10.1016/S1095-6433(02)00198-8.

O’Riain MJ. 1996. Pup ontogeny and factors influencing behavioural and morphological variation in naked mole-rats, Heterocephalus glaber (Rodentia, Bathyergidae) [PhD Thesis]. [Cape Town, South Africa]: University of Cape Town.

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O’Riain MJ, Jarvis JUM, Alexander R, Buffenstein R, Peeters C. 2000. Morphological castes in a vertebrate. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 97(24):13194–13197. doi:10.1073/pnas.97.24.13194.

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van der Westhuizen LA, Bennett NC, Jarvis JUM. 2006. Behavioural interactions, basal plasma luteinizing hormone concentrations and the differential pituitary responsiveness to exogenous gonadotrophin-releasing hormone in entire colonies of the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). J Zool. 256(1):25–33. doi:10.1017/S0952836902000043.

Yahav S, Buffenstein R. 1991a. Huddling behavior facilitates homeothermy in the naked mole rat Heterocephalus glaber. Physiol Zool. 64(3):871–884. doi:10.1086/physzool.64.3.30158212.

Yahav S, Buffenstein R. 1991b. The effect of temperature on caecal fermentation processes in a poikilothermic mammal, Heterocephalus glaber. J Therm Biol. 16(6):345–349. doi:10.1016/0306-4565(91)90061-6.

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Additional Internet Resources

Smell Keeps Us Together

Two naked mole-rats in a tube

Mole-rat colony members identify one another by a unique “colony scent”.

This scent is acquired (and renewed) during huddling, grooming, and when individuals roll in latrine chamber. If separated for more than 4 to 6 hours, an individual's scent dissipates, and it is no longer recognized by its colony mates.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

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