The naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), also known as the sand puppy, is a burrowing rodent native to parts of East Africa. It is closely related to the blesmols and is the only species in the genus Heterocephalus of the family Heterocephalidae. The naked mole-rat and the Damaraland mole-rat (Fukomys damarensis) are the only known eusocial mammals, the highest classification of sociality. It has a highly unusual set of physical traits that allow it to thrive in a harsh underground environment and is the only mammalian thermoconformer, almost entirely ectothermic (cold-blooded) in how it regulates body temperature.
The naked mole-rat lacks pain sensitivity in its skin, and has very low metabolic and respiratory rates. While formerly considered to belong to the same family as other African mole-rats, Bathyergidae, more recent investigation places it in a separate family, Heterocephalidae. The naked mole-rat is also remarkable for its longevity and its resistance to cancer and oxygen deprivation.
First photo look like a sweet potato with teeth...YUCK!
Here's my recipe for those interested in trying something new.
Baked naked mole rat with sour cream (-:
Naked mole rat teeth can be removed after baking, when they are easiest to separate from the edible parts(-:
While rats are met with revulsion in most parts of the world, some communities put rodents pride of place on the dinner menu.
A food vendor sells freshly barbecued field rats alongside a highway just north of Bangkok, Thailand (Credit: Grant Singleton)