Monday, December 19, 2011
It’s December 19th, and a favorite holiday among naked mole-rats is quickly approaching. That’s right, it’s almost Festivus!
As we shared in this blog story last year, the naked mole-rats presumably celebrate Festivus on the 23rd of December.
They observe the holiday with Feats of Strength,
Airing of Grievances,
and even a naked mole-rat-sized Festivus Pole.
This year, there is even a Festivus miracle! One of our two queens, Galinda, gave birth to a new litter of pups on Sunday night. As with other Festivus miracles, this is something that is easily explainable. Galinda has about five litters a year! This is pretty normal for her! Yet it is also something we anticipate with excitement and a little concern. The health of our queen is key to maintaining a healthy colony, and delivering pups is one of the most risky times for a mole-rat. Each successfully delivered litter truly is a moment to appreciate
With all naked mole-rat litters, there is a very high rate of mortality among the pups. The first few weeks of life for a baby naked mole-rat are extremely difficult. However, we are excited to see babies this time of year and hope for the best. We know from experience and communication with other facilities that there is no added care we can do to help the babies along. By keeping the colony and its queen healthy, we have done our part in the process and must give the colony a few quiet days to establish a bond with the pups. It is up to them now.