Naked mole rats are beloved for having some of the strangest mammalian superpowers. They can resist cancers, defy the usual mammalian aging process, survive almost 20 minutes without oxygen, and tolerate surprisingly high levels of pain.
But it turns out these highly social freaks of nature have a nasty little secret that makes them more supervillain than superhero. Naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) kidnap each other’s babies and turn them into slaves.
While naked mole rats themselves are small, up to 10 cm (4 inches) in length, they have massive colonies made up of highly co-operative individuals. These can have up to a staggering 300 workers – the largest known colonies among mammals – within which most individuals are sterile, just like in ants or bee colonies.
In fact, these bucktoothed shriveled skin