How to milk a naked mole-rat

By Susan Milius, 09:38 AM May 1, 2014

For the sake of science, Olav Oftedal has milked bats, bears and a lot of other mammals. But a naked mole-rat was something new.

“The thin, hairless skin is so translucent that you can see the milk accumulating in the mammary glands,” says Oftedal, of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. For once he could tell exactly which glands were full.

“In most small mammals,” he says, “the big problem is you have hair that can wick the milk away. You have a capillary tube, and ...

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