Animal Cognition

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 71–74

Tool use by naked mole-rats

  • Gabriela Shuster
  • P. W. Sherman
Short communication

DOI: 10.1007/s100710050009

Cite this article as:
Shuster, G. & Sherman, P. Anim Cogn (1998) 1: 71. doi:10.1007/s100710050009


Naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber, Rodentia: Bathyergidae) excavate extensive subterranean burrows with their procumbent incisors. Captive individuals often place a wood shaving or tuber husk behind their incisor teeth and in front of their lips and molar teeth while gnawing on substrates that yield fine particulate debris. This oral barrier may prevent choking or aspiration of foreign material. Consistent use of tools has rarely been reported in rodents.

Key wordsHeterocephalus glaberGnawingOral barrierTool useRodents

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriela Shuster
    • 1
  • P. W. Sherman
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Neurobiology and Behavior, Mudd Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA Tel.: +1-607-2544333, Fax: +1-607-2544308US