Apr 21, 2017 07:42 PM EDT
Naked mole rats are known to be bizarre looking creatures living in the tunnels of East Africa. But little do people know that these critters have much more up their sleeve aside from being immune to cancer. The weird looking mammals were found out to survive oxygen deprivation and turn into plants as a recent study discovered.
According to Discover Magazine, a team of researchers from the U.S., England, Germany and South Africa led by Thomas Park which works on naked mole rats for more than 18 years decided to put the critters to an oxygen deprivation experiment. The idea of Park was said to be triggered to numerous signs that the mammals could survive without oxygen like living in tunnels that have low oxygen levels.
The naked mole rat experiment then started off as Park mentioned that they are nervous about putting the critters into a five percent oxygen. Ready to abort the study, the mammals didn’t show any kind of stress until they had reached staying for more than an hour without oxygen. The team then concluded that the creatures could survive for more than five hours without oxygen.
Jane Reznick, a study co-author and molecular biologist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin then stated that the experiments result was that the naked mole rats survived 18 minutes and more without neurological damage. The reason was found out that the strange animals metabolize fructose to turn into energy just like plants per Phys.
For most “The naked mole rat has simply rearranged some basic building blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions,” Park, from the University of Illinois in Chicago, US and study’s lead author said. The study was mentioned to be published last Thursday in Science under the title of "Fructose-driven glycolysis supports anoxia resistance in the naked mole-rat."
Nonetheless, Park noted how people think of naked mole rats as ugly creatures. He said that he understands that they are weird looking creatures. But he also added that people should know that naked mole rats are deep inside gentle and friendly creatures amid their appearance.