Data ark

February 26, 2009

The life history of the naked mole rat is among the records of more than 4,000 animal species that have been included in an online database at the University of Liverpool. The database, which is the largest of its kind, details the maximum and average lifespans of species, as well as their weight, age of sexual maturity, litter size and other characteristics. It is accessible to the public and researchers, and includes unusual creatures such as the naked mole rat, which lives in harsh East African conditions for as long as 30 years. Joao Pedro Magalhaes, lecturer at Liverpool's School of Biological Sciences, said: "The naked mole rat is a good example of how complex the mechanisms of ageing are. The assumption is that the bigger the animal, the longer it lives, yet the mole-rat is about the size of a mouse and can live for up to three decades."

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