Area of zoo
Enclosure status
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Heterocephalus glaber
East Africa

Naked mole-rat facts

  • Naked mole-rats can survive with little oxygen. 
  • They’re resistant to some forms of pain.  
  • Unlike other mammals, they’re also almost completely cold blooded. 
  • They sleep on their backs. 
  • Naked mole-rats very rarely get cancer.  
  • They have very long lifespans for rodents, living up to 32 years.  
  • Naked mole-rats can move their front teeth independently of each other.  
Naked mole rat colony in a burrow
Naked mole rat face with teeth showing

Where do naked mole-rats live?

Underground burrows across the arid savannas and shrublands of the Horn of Africa. They live together in colonies of around 75 individuals, with one breeding female called the queen. 

What do naked mole-rats eat? 

Underground roots, bulbs and tubers. They don't drink, but get all the water they need from food. They also eat their own poo to maximise nutrient uptake. 

Animals at Nightlife

  • Red slender loris
    Loris tardigradus

    Slender loris

    Slender lorises silently sneak up on their prey and grab with their hands.

  • Potto at London Zoo
    Perodicticus potto


    To mark their territory pottos leave urine trails on trees and deter predators using toxic secretions. They also have their own very distinct odour which you will be able to smell when you visit them. 

  • Two Malagasy giant jumping rats
    Hypogeomys antimena

    Malagasy giant jumping rat

    The largest rodent in Madagascar, the giant jumping rat lives in burrows of complex tunnels.

  • A wide-eyed aye-aye grips onto a log
    Daubentonia madagascariensis


    Aye-ayes use their long finger to tap on branches and listen for hollow sounds, then they use their strong front teeth to rip open the bark before reaching into the hole to pull out their prey. 

  • Nightlife animals