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The burrow temperature and humidity is very stable because there is very little air exchange with the surface.

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With the burrow air remaining between 30 and 32 degrees C year round, Naked Mole-Rats have very little need to control their body temperature. It is for this reason that researchers believe this animal has become poikilothermic - unable to thermoregulate. This unique feature is the experimental basis for the graduate work conducted by Nicole Herold in the laboratory of Dr.

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The Naked Mole-Rat is being studied by this group for two reasons. First, very little physiological research has been completed on this animal leaving many questions yet to be answered. Telemetry is an ideal method to begin unraveling the mystery of this specie.

Second, and more importantly, the naked mole-rat is an ideal model for studying the affects on sleep due to temperature. Sleep is known to be influenced by temperature, as well as environmental timing cues or zeitgebers. Closely related to the onset of sleep and wakefulness is the endogenous circadian temperature cycle.

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By studying the sleep of an animal such as the Naked Mole-Rat, which should follow closely the temperature of its environment and has no zeitgebers, the relationship between sleep and temperature mechanisms can be more clearly defined.

Once the animals recovered and were reintroduced to the colony, a process taking between two and four weeks, temperature and activity, and sometimes EEG, measurements were taken every ten minutes for six continuous days.

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This is the first time that temperature has been studied in the Naked Mole-Rat with out the effects of handling and while the animal remained in its colony environment undisturbed. The rhythmicity of temperature and activity was also studied for the first time during telemetric recording.

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EEG had never before been recorded either. This figure shows the synchronized dip in temperature and increase in activity.


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