We tend to think of nature as being both brutal and patriarchal. Animals struggle to survive and mate, and we assume that means that males will dominate. But some non-human species actually have matriarchies, that work out pretty well. Here's what nature can teach us about the secrets of making matriarchy work.
Plenty of superheroes and supervillains are animal themed, taking on the grace of a cat or the strength of a spider. But there are animals who are super in their own right, with abilities perfectly suited to saving the day.
We've long touted the awesomeness of the cancer-free, ultra-long-lived, acid-resistant naked mole rats, and we even suggested that they'll inherit the Earth from us. But while we're still around, let's see if we can't benefit from these remarkable rodents.
Too long have cockroaches been regarded as the heirs to the planet, in the event of a huge cataclysm that drives humans to extinction. Today, we present for your consideration an alternative: the naked mole rat.
The naked mole rat is quickly becoming one of my favorite mammals ever. The glabrous little buggers live decades longer than most other rodents, never develop cancer, and have mastered the enviable skill of being able to run backwards as quickly as they do forwards.
Often called "sabre tooth sausages," naked mole rats are among the most bizarre members of the rodent realm. They live for 20 years — an enormous amount of time compared to other rodents — and exist entirely within a network of underground tunnels. They are blind, feel no pain on the surface of their skins, can run…
This creature can live 30 years. Are you terrified? Me too. But the naked mole rat might help us find the fountain of youth and a cancer cure, so I'm trying to reign in my desire for them all to perish.
The naked mole-rat lives for thirty years - compared to 1-2 years for other rodents - and we've never found any evidence that it can get cancer. Now we're peeking inside its genome to figure out what makes it special.
Naked mole rats might be the most awesomely peculiar mammals in existence; they possess ants' hive mind-like qualities, feel no pain, and are completely immune to cancer. And researchers have finally unlocked the secret to their remarkable cancer-fighting powers.