Pantophlet, J., Rodriguez, A., Niekrash, J. et al. 2022. Naked Mole rat modular housing system. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 10(4) (July/August), 24-25.
Naked Mole-rats have been studied in laboratories for decades due to their unique behavior and physiology. They are one of a few species of mammals that maintain a hive social structure, are highly resistant to cancer, and can survive and thrive in extremely low oxygen conditions without incurring physiological damage. These animals live in large colonies of tens to hundreds of members in hot underground tunnel systems that, in the wild, can span hundreds of feet wide and a few feet deep. In many facilities, both zoological and research based, multiple glass or acrylic tanks are connected by various methods via PVC, Plexiglas, or even duct tubing. Joining the tubes with their tanks can be cumbersome, inelegant, or even increase the potential of animal escape. This was the case for our facility when we received our colonies of Naked Mole rats in 2010. For months we had issues with the method used by the previous facility which was acrylic tubes with thick rubber bands used as stoppers. These were ineffective for our facility and lead to many an escape from our Mole rats. Over time we’ve developed a more secure modular system that has allowed our colonies to thrive. Here we present our methods.