No oxygen, no problem for naked mole rats

Roman Klementschitz [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

In most mammals, oxygen deprivation, even for short periods of time, causes injury to the brain tissue and potential long-term damage. But the naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber), a small, subterranean rodent native to eastern Africa, seems to weather hypoxia quite well. Naked mole rats have drawn a good deal of scientific attention lately, as they possess a suite of unique characteristics presumed to be adaptations for surviving underground.

Lab Anim. (NY) 39, 3 (2010).
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