2013 Was a Banner Year for the Mole Rat


Largely lost among the succession of well-known awards for film, television, and literature was Science magazine’s annual award for Vertebrate of the Year. Pope Francis may have been Time’s consensus pick as Person of the Year for 2013, but the naked mole rat ran away—so to speak–with the Vertebrate of the Year Award.

The naked mole rat is an ugly little animal that spends most of its life underground, almost as if it is aware of its own hideousness.

Mole Rat

Actually the naked mole rat is not even a clear-cut winner as the ugliest of the mole rats. I think that the star-nosed mole rat may be even uglier.

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