Pink, naked, beady eyed, wrinkled and shaped like a sausage – no not
me this time! Meet the naked mole rat.
But don’t go by looks alone – this odd creature has an awful lot going
for it. Although not blessed with classic Hollywood
good looks, the mole rat is an incredible creature – all but immune to
cancer, incredibly long-lived (makes a mockery of the Gompertz law – a
mathematical equation for ageing) and can survive on very little
oxygen. No wonder it was Science Magazine Vertebrate of the Year 2013
– how many of us could boast that fact?!
On the lid you will spot several hidden secrets. 30 refers to the age
which naked mole rats can achieve; No pain refers to the fact
the naked mole rat has a missing receptor P which means it doesn’t
feel pain; fox 3 refers to the three baby foxes I was watching play in
our field whilst I was sitting in my workshop carving this piece and
LC refers to ‘Least Concern’ which is where the naked mole rat is on
the endangered species list.