The Smithsonian National Zoo's naked mole rat colony is welcoming seven new pups after their queen gave birth to her second litter, the zoo announced on Sunday. Naked mole rats are eusocial mammals, meaning they spend their lives in large colonies with a single breeding female — their queen. On Dec. The naked mole rat queen is capable of getting pregnant again just two weeks after last giving birth. And with every litter the queen delivers, it's likely that she'll give birth to more pups because her spine becomes longer, the zoo writes.
Eating royal poop improves parenting in naked mole-rats
Naked Mole-rat Pup FAQs | Smithsonian's National Zoo
The naked mole-rat Heterocephalus glaber is one of the two known mammalian species that live in a eusocial population structure. Here we investigate the exceptionally long gestation period of 70 days observed in the mole-rat queen. The course of seven successful pregnancies in two individuals was recorded in a colony of captive naked mole-rats using ultrasound biomicroscopy UBM and 3D-ultrasonography. We establish a catalogue of basic reference ultrasound data for this species by describing the ultrasonographic appearance of reproductive organs, calculating growth curves to predict gestational age and defining ultrasonographic milestones to characterize pregnancy stages. Mean litter size was Mean interbirth interval was The reproductive success in our colony did not differ from previously published data.
Naked Mole Rat Queen Gives Birth To Second Litter, Months After Being Crowned
This is the first litter of pups for this naked mole-rat colony, and it is possible that some or all of the pups may not survive. If the colony can sense that the pups are sick or there is something wrong with them, they may decide to stop caring for them or eat them. The colony has been working to establish a new queen since they moved to the Zoo earlier this year.
October 15, Have you ever seen a picture of a mother dog caring for an unusual baby, like a kitten? This sort of animal adoption story is an example of a phenomenon known as alloparenting : care provided to offspring that are not genetically related.