Meet Your Inner Mole Rat

Mole rats are a pretty ugly, obscure bunch of creatures. They live underground in Africa, where they use their giant teeth to gnaw at roots. Those of you who know anything about mole rats most likely know about naked mole rats, which have evolved a remarkable society that is more insect than mammalian, complete with a queen mole rat ruling over her colony. But according to a paper in press at the Journal of Human Evolution, mole rats are important for another reason. Their evolution and our own show some striking parallels that may shed light on how our ancestors diverged from other apes.

The authors of the paper, Greg Laden of the University of Minnesota and Harvard’s Richard Wrangham, believe

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