Short communication

Animal Cognition

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 71-74

Tool use by naked mole-rats

  • Gabriela ShusterAffiliated withSection of Neurobiology and Behavior, Mudd Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA Tel.: +1-607-2544333, Fax: +1-607-2544308
  • , P. W. ShermanAffiliated withSection of Neurobiology and Behavior, Mudd Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA Tel.: +1-607-2544333, Fax: +1-607-2544308

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Abstract

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 glaber Gnawing Oral barrier Tool use Rodents