Monday, May 5, 2014

What’s That Sound?

Visitors to Pacific Science Center’s naked mole rat colony and viewers of the naked mole rat cam often hear a persistent clicking sound. Listen:

We’re often asked, “What’s that sound?”

That is the sound of naked mole rats gnawing on the plastic tubes that connect their chambers. Animal caretakers find evidence of the gnawing when the mole rat habitat is cleaned and when chambers and tubes are exchanged.

Because naked mole rat incisors - their four front teeth - grow continuously, they must be frequently filed down with something hard. The tube ends are handy and they seem to be as popular as the concrete blocks that we provide. Some afternoons the chorus of gnawing, clicking, and snapping sounds deafening!

Watch this chewing activity in person or on camera. Careful listeners may even hear high-pitched squeaks and chirps as well. Those sounds are naked mole rat vocalizations! Translation anyone?


  1. dear naked mole rats, dear pasci-staff!
    due to i wasn't able (no internet-access at all after moving to another city; there are parts of the world, where you have to wait that long for the phone & DSL-company that long. no joke. - welcome to germany's middle of nowhere!) to sneak in via the NMR-Cams for about the last 4 weeks,
    i was missing these meditational sounds of chewing, squeaking, gnawing, tweeting and all kind of typical sounds of "my" beloved NMR-colony soooo much!
    you won't imagine, what it meant to be without it in the evenings, but i would say, i suffered in despair.
    i am more than just happy to be back here with all of you since yesterday evening - YAY!!!
    lots of changes in the burrow,
    that looks even better and more secure for the little friends,
    but still the good old wellknown sounds of roundabout 63 NMRs and so much to observe and discover -
    it is just wonderful!
    rock and gnaw on, you little ones!

    your (addicted) NMR ambassadors to germany

  2. what a pitty!
    right now there's no sound at all on both cams.
    dear naked mole rats, we hope to hear your ounds again very soon - take care, lots of hugs and greetings to sarah moore and terry aswell!