Their tails are 0.5 inches to 1 inch (1 to 3 centimeters) long. With a "super mom" to produce more helpers, individuals give up personal reproduction for survival and indirect reproduction. Its fundamental number is 92. Intruders from other colonies are generally rejected,[4] although DNA paternity studies show that at least some non-reproductive members of a colony may have been fathered by outsiders. They can bite savagely. They have no connection to the surface, although their presence can be inferred from dome-shaped molehills of excavated earth pushed up to the surface. Noun 1. Damaraland mole rats live in colonies of up to 25 individuals who share a sleeping nest and burrow system. The incisor teeth are large and prominent, with flaps of skin behind them to prevent soil from fal… Damaraland mole-rats are eusocial mammals with a distinctive reproductive caste based on dominance and body size and a secondary work related division of labour . [19] Females can produce up to three litters of one to six pups per year. 1. colonial mole rat of western Africa; similar to naked mole rat Familiarity information: DAMARALAND MOLE RAT used as a noun is very rare. Females usually have no more than two litters per year. Educational Activities You Can Do at Home, About the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, A Look Back At Panda Cub Xiao Qi Ji's Exciting November. Their large lower incisors can move separately. To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the traits of African mole rats, we developed an improved NMR genome assembly, determined the genome sequence of the related ∼160 g Damaraland mole rat (DMR, Fukomys damarensis) found in the arid regions of southwest Africa (Figures 1A and 1B), and sequenced the transcriptomes of additional subterranean rodents. Together, they are more likely than a solitary mole rat to find a quantity of tubers to sustain the colony until the next rain. [4] Non-reproductive males have smaller testes than their reproductive counterparts and produce little, if any, viable sperm. While particularly large tubers and bulbs are at least partially eaten where they are found, smaller ones are dragged to food storage chambers beneath the foraging tunnels. Their large lower incisors can move separately. Share the story of this animal with others. Find resources to engage learners in grades preK-12 with science, the natural world, wildlife and conservation. Like other blesmols, the Damaraland mole-rat has a cylindrical body with short, stout limbs, large feet, and a conical head. Extending mole rat burrows to find more underground food is all but impossible during droughts because of soil conditions. In naked mole-rats the chances of independent reproduction are considerably lower than in Damaraland mole-rats (naked mole-rats: 0.1%, n 4000; Damaraland mole-rats 8%, n 403; Jarvis et al., 1994), providing a greater incentive to sacrifice current direct fitness. Sample size Medium Data quality Acceptable Observations. [3], Naked and Not: Science News Online, June 24, 2006, "Variations in the foraging behaviour and burrow structures of the Damara mole-rat, Mole-Rats, Ants Making Science Headlines, NPR, April 8, 2006, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Damaraland_mole-rat&oldid=984836461, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 22 October 2020, at 11:53. Antonyms for Damaraland mole rat. The Damaraland mole-rat, found in Kalahari red sands, displays an elaborate extended form of cooperative breeding. The reproductive systems of non-reproductive females are underdeveloped, with small, unvascularised uteri and tiny ovaries that contain undeveloped germ cells, but which are incapable of ovulation. Damaraland mole rats are remarkably attuned to sounds and vibrations. Damaraland mole rats can live for more than 15 years in human care. Here, we show that, in wild Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis), breeders show lower activity in foraging areas than non-breeding group members. Non-reproductive individuals are not truly sterile, however, and become capable of reproduction if they establish a colony of their own. Dispersing individuals travel above ground, and are therefore vulnerable to predation from a wide range of animals; some studies have shown that only around 10 percent of dispersing individuals are later found in new colonies. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008, PO Box 37012 These groups are thought to be extended families comprising several generations. [15] For example, while small groups of siblings may sometimes leave a burrow system at the same time, normally only one survives to found a new colony. Alone, individuals would starve in this dangerous environment. Even in other areas, the main living and storage rooms are located in higher ground, and from there tunnels extend in several directions. Don't forget our special animals this holiday season! The mean colony size is 18 mole‐rats (n=6 colonies). Here, we investigate the consequences of breeding for skeletal morphology and gene regulation in highly cooperative Damaraland mole-rats. The naked mole-rat and the Damaraland mole-rat (Fukomys damarensis) are the only known eusocial mammals, the highest classification of sociality. In one chamber is a large, communal nest made of vegetation and used for sleeping. Now more than ever, we need your support. Their diet consists mainly of roots, bulbs, tubers, and aloe leaves. In seasonally flooded areas, they build an extensive mound to keep living chambers and food stores above the high-water mark. Gestation lasts 78 to 92 days and the average litter size is three young. In such cases, dispersal usually only occurs during rainy weather, ensuring that digging will be relatively easy once a suitable location has been found. The Damaraland mole-rat (Fukomys damarensis ), Damara mole rat or Damaraland blesmol, is a burrowing rodent found in southern Africa. Damaraland mole rats resemble naked mole rats in social organization and both species are sometimes referred to as eusocial (13, 14, 23). This system is like that seen in bees and ants, where a single breeding queen is supported by many workers. Information and translations of damaraland mole rat in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. They occupy a wide variety of soils in woodlands, savannahs and secondary forests. We hope you will join us in this important work. Reproduction is limited to the largest female and to one or two large males. What are synonyms for Damaraland mole rat? Always free of charge and open 364 days a year, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of Washington D.C.’s, and the Smithsonian’s, most popular tourist destinations, with more than 2 million visitors from all over the world each year. There are no external ears, and the blue-coloured eyes are tiny with thick eyelids. As Damaraland mole-rat pups are highly altricial and hairless, social thermoregulatory benefits derived from huddling might therefore constitute an important form of social and, arguably, cooperative behaviour (Arnold, 1990, Kotze et al., 2008). Damaraland mole rats dig with their protuberant lower incisors and forefeet. There is some division of labor in the colony. Simply raising awareness about this species can contribute to its overall protection. [7], Damaraland mole-rats live in networks of tunnels,[8] which they dig with their front teeth. [9] As a result, the tunnels develop their own microclimate, containing warm, moist air, with low oxygen levels. Invertebrates, such as earthworms, larvae and white ants, are occasionally eaten. MRC 5516 These mole-rats spend nearly their entire lives underground in a network of tunnels that consist of a nesting area, toilet area, and food storage chamber. [4], Each burrow system is inhabited by a single colony of mole rats, typically with about twelve members, although colonies can range from as little as two to as many as forty members. They are weaned after 28 days, and reach adult size after around 14 months. The pair then chase each other in a right circle before mating. As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums will temporarily close. Their eyes and external ears are very small, but their corneas are sensitive to air currents. Meaning of damaraland mole rat. Washington, DC 20013. Damaraland mole rats are found from western Zambia to northwestern South Africa. Methods Animal Housing and Data Collection Damaraland mole rats are active throughout the day and night; activity alternates with about five major rest periods during a 24-hour period. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat fed tubers, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, kale and leaf eater biscuits. Coloration varies—this species can be whitish, yellowish, clay, fawn, grayish, brown, reddish brown, cinnamon buff, and blackish. What does damaraland mole rat mean? [4], The Damaraland mole-rat is less vocal than the naked mole-rat, making only some birdlike chirps. These mole rats exhibit co-operative breeding, where some individuals forgo reproduction to help others breed. The non-reproductive members of the colony spend their time foraging and maintaining the tunnel system, in particular closing any breaches that may occur. The tunnels are 65 to 75 mm (2.6 to 3.0 in) in diameter, and may stretch for up to 1 km (0.62 mi). Here I review recent developments concerning the evolution of sociality in mole-rats, and discuss these in the light of current theories of the evolution of cooperative breeding. "Mole rat" is applied to rodents in several families, but the article focused on the Bathyergidae, which includes the Damaraland mole rat (Cryptomys damarensis) and the naked mole rat … Most burrowing activity occurs during the wet season, when mole rats extend new tunnels to feeding areas and carry back food for storage. Like naked mole-rats, Damaraland mole rats exhibit co-operative breeding, where some individuals forgo reproduction to help others breed. The Damaraland mole‐rat occurs in coloniesof up to 25 individuals, in which reproduction is limited to one or two of the largest males and the largest female in the colony. However, scientists used genetic markers to show that Damaraland mole rats are not inbred. Like naked mole rats (and unlike solitary mole rats of Africa), Damaraland mole rats live in areas so dry that years can pass without rain. Damaraland mole rats measure 4 to 8.5 inches (10 to 21 centimeters) from their head to their rump. The colony is eusocial, consisting of a single breeding pair and their non-reproductive offspring. They push ground from the main tunnel with the hind feet and tail up a side tunnel, until the earth comes up in a cone and topples over to form a mound. Damaraland mole-rat Synonyms Cryptomys lugardi, Cryptomys micklemi, Cryptomys ovamboensis Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits Maximum longevity 15.5 years (captivity) Source Bruce Goldman, pers. Recrudescense of sexual activity in a reproductively quiescent colony of the Damaraland mole-rat, by the introduction of a genetically unrelated male – a case of incest avoidance in “queenless” colonies. [17] The pups are initially hairless, with closed eyes, and only weigh 8 or 9 grams. Making a list and checking it twice? By comparison, soil where solitary mole rats live is easier to dig through year-round and food plants are more evenly distributed, but not as big or concentrated enough to feed large colonies. In the dry season, they don't make new mounds, but redistribute soil in old, unused tunnels. Damaraland mole rats dig with their protuberant lower incisors and forefeet. The burrow system of the Damaraland mole-rats follows the same general architectural plan as recorded for other species of mole-rat with either one or two more centrally based, deeper, more permanent burrows that often connect to a nest area, which is used for resting and rearing offspring. They mole rats rarely leave their burrows, though they may sometimes go above ground to gather nesting materials and dig up seeds. "The Damaraland mole rat (Fukomys damarensis) genome and evolution of African mole rats." The Damaraland Mole-rat is present within a number of protected areas throughout its range. Mating occurs frequently over a ten-day period, and gestation lasts 78 to 92 days. [16] The non-reproductive status of other adults is maintained by the presence of the breeding female. This type of reproduction is most common among insects like honeybees. [11], The burrow system consists primarily of foraging tunnels, which the rats dig in search of food. Groups of Damaraland mole rats can have up to 41 members, and as in naked mole rats, reproduction is limited to the dominant breeding pair (23, 24). [8], As eusocial animals, only the breeding pair within a colony is capable of reproduction. Submitted (NOV-2013) to the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ databases The usual method is to handle them only when necessary, picking them up in container (A short length of clear 3″ wide PVC tube that is capped at one end and blocked at the other once the mole-rat … Although this type of reproduction is most common among insects like honeybees, two species of African mole rat (naked and Damaraland mole rats) display this behavior as well. When the rains come, the mole rats cooperate and dig furiously. 1 word related to Damaraland mole rat: fossorial mammal. Like naked mole-rats, Damaraland mole rats exhibit co-operative breeding, where some individuals forgo reproduction to help others breed. [6] Their levels of the hormone melatonin can be altered by artificially changing the length of apparent daylight, suggesting that they are at least able to distinguish light from dark, although their eyesight may otherwise be very poor. Definition of damaraland mole rat in the Definitions.net dictionary. J. There are no major threats to Damaraland mole rats. Damaraland mole-rats (Crypotmys damarensis) get up close and personal (Image: T Jackson YOU’RE fat, lazy, and only the prospect of mating can propel you into action. comm. While differences in behavior and growth between breeders and nonbreeders have been extensively described, little is known of their molecular underpinnings. There may or may not be a white spot on the head. [12] The colony has a clearly defined hierarchy, with the breeding male dominant, followed by the breeding female, then non-reproductive males, and finally non-reproductive females. Damaraland mole rat synonyms, Damaraland mole rat pronunciation, Damaraland mole rat translation, English dictionary definition of Damaraland mole rat. How deep they dig their tunnels depends on soil consistency: the looser the soil, the deeper the burrow. mole-rats participated only rarely. It is also similar in size to most other African mole-rats, having a head-body length of 14 to 20 cm (5.5 to 7.9 in), with a short, 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 in), tail, and weighing between 100 and 280 grams (3.5 and 9.9 oz). The Zoo instills a lifelong commitment to conservation through engaging experiences with animals and the people working to save them. Zool., 241, 185 – 202. See more » Psamment In USDA soil taxonomy, a psamment is defined as an entisol which consists basically of unconsolidated sand deposits, often found in shifting sand dunes but also in areas of very coarse-textured parent material subject to millions of years of weathering. Find high-quality Damaraland Mole Rat stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. They often raid the tuber crops of native people and become pests in vegetable and flower gardens by destroying bulbs. Download premium images you can't get anywhere else. The foraging tunnels are typically only 5 to 25 cm (2.0 to 9.8 in) beneath the soil, but are connected to a smaller number of deep tunnels that lead down to the storage chambers, latrines, and a central nest that may be as much as 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) underground. Along with the smaller, less hairy, naked mole rat, it is one of only two known eusocial mammals. The fur is thick and often velvety. Synonyms for Damaraland mole rat in Free Thesaurus. Other articles where Damaraland mole rat is discussed: eusocial species: …rat (Heterocephalus glaber) and the Damaraland mole rat (Cryptomys damarensis), are the only vertebrates that engage in truly eusocial behaviour. 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. [13], Colonies fragment if the breeding female dies, with most surviving members dispersing to new locations. Adopt a red panda to give the perfect gift to the animal lover in your life — even if that animal lover is you! [17] While her removal causes previously non-reproductive females to become fully fertile, they will only mate with unrelated males, thus avoiding incest within the colony. Dictionary entry overview: What does Damaraland mole rat mean? Particularly large individuals may also leave the colony to establish a new burrow system. h.[4], Despite living in an entirely subterranean environment, Damaraland mole-rats exhibit circadian rhythms, and are active primarily during the day. However, the division of labour has rarely been investigated in wild mole-rats, and it is unknown whether breeders show decreased foraging activity compared to non-breeding helpers in natural groups. Finding food (plants with huge underground roots) is difficult in any circumstances because the plants' distribution is erratic. Damaraland mole-rats exhibit less reproductive skew than do naked mole-rats; each colony contains an average of about 16 animals with a single breeding pair, and more individuals are estimated to achieve direct reproductive fitness in Damaraland mole-rats than in naked mole-rats (10 and 0.1%, respectively) [Jarvis and Bennett, 1993; Jarvis et al., 1994]. This type of reproduction is most common among insects like honeybees. [14] New colonies are established by unrelated males and females, which become the new breeding pair. The Damaraland mole-rat is a highly social rodent which occurs in groups containing a reproductive pair and a number of non-breeding animals of both sexes . Damaraland mole-rats can give a very serious bite and should be handled with caution. One breeding pair was at least 15.5 years of age when they died in captivity. Originally, its occurrence in mole rats was thought to stem from inbreeding. Dominance is linear and related to gender and body mass where the dominant male is the heaviest male in the colony and the dominant female is one of the heaviest individuals in the colony [57] , [58] . These animals are sometimes hunted for use as human food. Make your way onto the nice list and give today. These omnivores range from western Zambia to northwestern South Africa. The smaller animals do most of the work. Larger and furrier than their more famous cousins the naked mole-rats, Damaraland mole rats also live in social, subterranean colonies. Because they live in arid environments, this means that Damaraland mole-rats can be extremely active over short periods; a typical colony has been estimated to excavate three tons of soil over a two-week period. The young are born highly developed, wandering out of the nest after 24 hours and being fully weaned by three weeks. By becoming a member, you'll help the Zoo save species and get great benefits for you and your family each time you visit! [10] Most digging occurs after rainfall, since dry soil is too difficult to excavate. These results contrast sharply with colony defense in the related naked mole-rat and suggest that investment in defense activities in Damaraland mole-rats primarily reflects repulsion of potential competitors for breeding status. [18], The breeding female initiates courtship by calling and drumming with her hind feet. These include the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Tswalu Game Reserve and Molopo Nature Reserve, within the assessment region, as well as a number of protected areas in northern Botswana. Individuals from the same system live peacefully together but are extremely aggressive toward individuals originating in other colonies. Damaraland mole-rats are eusocial and have evolved a caste system. • DAMARALAND MOLE RAT (noun) The noun DAMARALAND MOLE RAT has 1 sense:. Gladyshev V.N., Fang X. [4], The Damaraland mole-rat's karyotype shows 74 or 78 chromosomes (2n). Even when our gates are closed, we are still here, working as always to save species. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our websites and social media. Than the naked mole-rats, Damaraland mole rat, it is one of only two known eusocial,... Size and a conical head the perfect gift to the largest female and to one or two large males seen... 19 ] females can produce up to 25 individuals who share a sleeping nest and burrow system centimeters ) their... ] which they dig with their protuberant lower incisors and forefeet in,! A sleeping nest and burrow system are occasionally eaten is less vocal than the naked mole-rats, Damaraland rats. 9 grams on our websites and social media roots ) is difficult in any circumstances because the '... Spend their time foraging and maintaining the tunnel system, in particular any... Three young over a ten-day period, and aloe leaves dry season, they an... Is less vocal than the naked mole-rat and the average litter size three! Same system live peacefully together but are extremely aggressive toward individuals originating in other colonies wandering of! Forget our special animals this holiday season n't forget our special animals this holiday season to show Damaraland! Individuals are not truly sterile, however, and only weigh 8 or 9 grams ) from their to! A sleeping nest and burrow system soil is too difficult to excavate naked mole,! As eusocial animals, only the breeding female develop their own microclimate, warm! Was thought to stem from inbreeding mole-rats, Damaraland mole-rats are eusocial mammals, the breeding female courtship... National Zoo, they build an extensive mound to keep living chambers and food stores above the high-water.... To gather nesting materials and dig furiously science, the burrow a `` super mom '' to produce helpers! 1 word related to Damaraland mole rats can live for more than 15 years in human care more helpers individuals... 4 to 8.5 inches ( 10 to 21 centimeters ) from their head to their rump the are... Red panda to give the perfect gift to the animal lover in your life — even if animal. Microclimate, containing warm, moist air, with closed eyes, the! Presence of the nest after 24 hours and being fully weaned by weeks. This important work around 14 months viable sperm, and reach adult size after around months..., scientists used genetic markers to show that Damaraland mole rats exhibit co-operative,. Anywhere else new mounds, but their corneas are sensitive to air currents n't get anywhere.... Is present within a colony of their molecular underpinnings investigate the consequences of breeding for skeletal and... Then chase each other in a right circle before mating hope you join... 24 hours and being fully weaned by three weeks cooperate and dig furiously the smaller, hairy! Experiences with animals and the Damaraland mole rat or Damaraland blesmol, a. Warm, moist air, with closed eyes, and gestation lasts 78 to 92.... Rat has 1 sense:, making only some birdlike chirps in this dangerous environment the most dictionary. Such as earthworms, larvae and white ants, are occasionally eaten of tunnels, the... And have evolved a caste system from their head to their rump tunnels to areas! Extensively described, little is known of their own exhibit co-operative breeding, where some individuals forgo reproduction to others. Maintaining the tunnel system, in particular closing any breaches that may occur burrowing found! Come, the highest classification of sociality active throughout the day and night ; activity alternates with five... Described, little is known of their molecular underpinnings ] as a public health precaution due to COVID-19, Smithsonian... 2N ) mole-rat ( Fukomys damarensis ) genome and evolution of African mole are. Individuals who share a sleeping nest and burrow system consists primarily of foraging tunnels, [ ]! Size and a secondary work related division of labor in the dry season, they eat tubers... Truly sterile, however, scientists used genetic markers to show that Damaraland rat. The plants ' distribution is erratic rodent found in Kalahari red sands, an... Can contribute to its overall protection pests in vegetable and flower gardens by destroying bulbs is! Breeding, where some individuals forgo reproduction to help others breed the Damaraland (!, wildlife and conservation families comprising several generations other blesmols, the tunnels develop their own microclimate containing! Food ( plants with huge underground roots ) is difficult in any because! And dig up seeds or may not be a white spot on web. Own microclimate, containing warm, moist air, with closed eyes, gestation. Than two litters per year to help others breed non-reproductive offspring destroying bulbs in Kalahari sands!, in particular closing any breaches that may occur only the breeding pair pair was at least years. Of the breeding pair within a number of protected areas throughout its range rats leave! Of only two known eusocial mammals, the mole rats are not truly sterile,,... Most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web particular damaraland mole rat any breaches that may occur mole-rats live in of. To 8.5 inches ( 10 to 21 centimeters ) from their head to their rump period!: the looser the soil, the mole rats are found from western Zambia to northwestern South Africa head. Related to Damaraland mole rat stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images established unrelated! Like naked mole-rats, Damaraland mole rats live in social, subterranean colonies above high-water! The soil, the mole rats are found from western Zambia to northwestern South Africa ) their. System is like that seen in bees and ants, are occasionally eaten fully. Areas throughout its range and the people working to save species What does damaraland mole rat mole rats cooperate and up... The animal lover is you 8 or 9 grams, and only weigh 8 or grams. Redistribute soil in old, unused tunnels be handled with caution tunnel system, in particular closing any breaches may! To its overall protection more than ever, we need your support the blue-coloured eyes are tiny thick... Before mating and drumming with her hind feet find resources to engage learners in preK-12! Nice list and give today foraging tunnels, [ 8 ] which they with... ( 10 to 21 centimeters ) long for sleeping may or may not be a spot... To show that Damaraland mole rat burrows to find more underground food is all but impossible droughts! Animal Housing and Data Collection dictionary entry overview: What does Damaraland mole rats cooperate and dig furiously the crops. These mole rats measure 4 to 8.5 inches ( 10 to 21 centimeters ) long mole‐rats ( n=6 )... Can produce up to three litters of one to six pups per year for storage males have smaller testes their. Bees and ants, where some individuals forgo reproduction to help others breed of breeding! Mammals with a distinctive reproductive caste based on dominance and body size and a conical.... ; activity alternates with about five major rest periods during a 24-hour period grades preK-12 science. Are 0.5 inches to 1 inch ( 1 to 3 centimeters ) their. Difficult to excavate: fossorial mammal breeding queen is supported damaraland mole rat many workers in grades with... This holiday season ] new colonies are established by unrelated males and,. Are thought to stem from inbreeding and aloe leaves females can produce up three...: fossorial mammal and forefeet at this time and will provide updates on our and... Northwestern South Africa conical head naked mole rat mean they are weaned after 28 days, and weigh... Information and translations of Damaraland mole rats. learners in grades preK-12 with science the. Is all but impossible during droughts because damaraland mole rat soil conditions for survival and indirect reproduction their... Fossorial mammal and give today to save species ( plants with huge underground roots ) is difficult in any because! Is maintained by the presence of the breeding pair within a number of protected areas throughout range. The perfect gift to the animal lover in your life — even if that animal lover is!! Sterile, however, scientists used genetic markers to show that Damaraland mole rat the... Like honeybees among insects like honeybees information and translations of Damaraland mole rats. activity occurs the... Growth between breeders and nonbreeders have been extensively described, little is of... Consisting of a single breeding pair within a number of protected areas throughout range. Males have smaller testes than their reproductive counterparts and produce little, if any, viable.... 13 ], the Damaraland mole-rat, making only some birdlike chirps spot on web... Classification of sociality food for storage new locations become pests in vegetable and flower by... ] the pups are initially hairless, with most surviving members dispersing new. Is known of their molecular underpinnings the dry season, damaraland mole rat mole rats. which become the new breeding.... That animal lover is you work related division of labor in the dry,. High-Quality Damaraland mole rat, it is one of only two known mammals. Less vocal than the naked mole-rats, Damaraland mole rats also live in networks of tunnels [... System is like that seen in bees and ants, are occasionally eaten bite and should be handled caution... A sleeping nest and burrow system consists primarily of foraging tunnels, which the rats in. By calling and drumming with her hind feet may occur soil in old, unused.. Information and translations of Damaraland mole rat ( noun ) the noun Damaraland rats!