; order Rodentia, suborder Hystricomorpha)
A family of mole-like rodents that live in shallow tunnels. Most of the hair is lost, the legs are short, strong, and pentadactyl, with strong claws. The skull is short and strong, with occipital and sagittal crests prominent, and paroccipital processes short. The cheek teeth are hypsodont, and rooted. The teeth are reduced in number. The animals are distributed throughout Africa south of the Sahara. There are about 22 species, in five genera. At least one species, Heterocephalus glaber (naked mole rat) is known to be eusocial like some insects, with a giant queen who is the sole breeder and a horde of small but adult individuals who perform specialized, non-breeding roles.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.