About the Project

The ZooTrophy Animal-a-Day project began on October 15th, 2013 as illustrator Angela "LemurKat" Oliver began working her way, systematically but selectively, through the alphabet and presenting, via social media, an illustrated animal to the world. Daily.

All pieces are drawn as 2.5 x 3.5 inch collectible cards, using a combination of polychromos and prismacolor pencils, along with other art materials. Many are still available for purchase ($10) or trade, so drop her an email if anything captures your eye or if there is an animal you wish to request.

It is predicted this project will take her at least two years to complete - with approximately 36 animals being drawn for each letter. She has also used the images to create a collectible hardback encyclopedia series, playing cards and a desk calendar, as well as the ZooTrophy collectible trading card game.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Creature Feature #491: Naked Mole-rat

The Naked Mole-rat is the one of the only eusocial mammals in the world. She lives in a colony structured somewhat like a bee hive: with one fertile, breeding female with 1-3 fertile males. The other females are all reproductively suppressed. Smaller Naked Mole-rats assist in gathering food and maintaining the nest, whilst large individuals undergo guarding duty. They also aid in caring for the pups. When the Queen dies, another will take her place, her hormones adjusting so that she becomes fertile. Litters can number up to 28 pups, although the average is 11. Naked Mole-rats are almost blind, almost hairless and designed to survive in their subterranean burrows. Her lungs are small and her skin lacks pain neurotransmitters, which helps her survive in areas with low oxygen and high cardon dioxide and acid levels.

Generally speaking, Naked Mole-rats are probably the ugliest animals I have ever seen. The only other eusocial mammal is the Damaraland Mole-rat which is larger and hairy and therefore marginly cuter (although it's still moslty all buckteeth.

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