Cute little critters

I think you might know by now that I’m a dog person. I’d love to have a cat and some small furry creatures but it might be asking for trouble with a terrier and a german shepherd in the house so I just admire from afar. Then Adrian sent this picture of a naked mole-rat, or sand puppy:

Sand puppy being held in a hand

Isn’t that just the cutest creature you’ve ever seen?
But I don’t think we’ll be adopting one any time soon. I’ll have to make do with pictures and the naked mole-rat cam. They’re fascinating mammals though:

Endowed with pinkish-gray, wrinkly skin, scant hair, and long buck teeth, naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) aren’t likely to win any beauty contests. Some might refer to them as downright ugly, resembling an overcooked hotdog with teeth. Nonetheless, biologists and zoogoers are enchanted with these bizarre rodents.

Despite the fact that they burrow underground like moles, and have big front teeth like rats have, naked mole-rats are more closely related to porcupines and guinea pigs than to moles or rats. This naked mole-rat colony occupies a labyrinth of transparent tubes that mimics the underground tunnels and burrows in Africa, where mole-rats live. The web cam is focused on a busy intersection of two tunnels. Mole-rats are the only known mammals to live in large colonies presided over by a queen (like ants and termites).

But Adrian’s description made me chuckle:

Must be hard to go through life looking like a p*nis with teeth!

Here’s a Friday thought – if this was your pet, what would you name him/her?

12 Responses to “Cute little critters”

  1. jo
    September 24th, 2004 14:14


  2. Sarah
    September 24th, 2004 16:41


    I adore rats, but that really is one ugly critter. Aww, now I feel mean. Sorry.

  3. Katherine
    September 24th, 2004 20:59

    ‘Isn’t that just the cutest creature you’ve ever seen?’

    Er, no.

  4. anan
    September 24th, 2004 21:13

    if i were to give this one a name, it would be the name of a good plastic surgeon.

  5. joanne
    September 24th, 2004 21:14


  6. Em
    September 24th, 2004 23:50

    Richard, for obvious reasons

  7. Lynn
    September 25th, 2004 13:55

    Mark likes hairless animals like this one. He keeps trying to persuade me that we should get a sphinx cat but I’m not convinced. How do you stroke the poor little thing when it’s got no fur?
    I’d call it Alf – alien life form :)

  8. Daisy
    September 25th, 2004 17:20

    This is starting to sound as if it should be in the “Late night Daisy” category.

    Anan – that’s what I call a good comeback ;-0)

    Dammit Lynn, if I was offering a prize you’d have won it. I’ve seen pictures of sphynx cats but never seen one in the flesh (no pun intended), have to agree that it would feel odd to stroke one with no fur.

  9. zeno
    September 27th, 2004 09:06

    Definitely a todger with teeth.

  10. Adrian
    October 1st, 2004 07:54

    That gave me nightmares for a while.

    (p.s. you have the link to my name funny. I think you forgot the http:// )

  11. Daisy
    October 1st, 2004 10:09

    Sorry, url sorted now.

  12. Thinking Out Loud: Thought Leadership from an Enterprise Architect
    September 25th, 2004 15:38

    How to hack corporate america!

    As an architect with a keen interest in computer security, I started to think about why corporations allow themselves to be exploited and came up with an answer on how they can protect themselves….

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