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Naked mole-rats are native to Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. They live in extensive underground tunnel systems and subsist on large tubers which they find by burrowing. Though a colony consists of up to several hundred individuals, only one female and a few males reproduce--the rest of the animals support the colony. As Cornell professor Paul Sherman explains, this is remarkably similar to the societies of the social insects like bees and wasps.

Sherman's research focuses on the fragile balance between cooperation and conflict in various mammalian and avian societies.