Gracias al protagonismo que le da la prensa estos días he podido recordar esta pregunta de Quora, y la respuesta, que pienso que revela aspectos poco conocidos del comportamiento de los mamíferos sociales, así que la traigo aquí. Como siempre digo, los textos pertenecen a los autores y no a los sitios donde se publican, y a pesar de que en mi blog tendrá menos difusión, están donde deben estar-
I'm going to give an easy example: naked mole rats, Heterocephalus glaber.
No. Reading the Wiki article I have discovered that in fact there are two eusocial species of animals, the other one es Damaraland rat, Fukomys damarensis.
As you probably know, nake mole rats and Damaraland rats exhibit a behaviour that is considered eusocial.
This means they live in a colony in which only a female, and a few males (2 or 3 in mole rats, and 1 en Damaraland rats) produce offspring.
The naked mole-rat is the first mammal discovered to exhibit. This eusocial structure is similar to that found in , , and some and . Only one female (the queen) and one to three males reproduce, while the rest of the members of the colony function as workers. The queen and breeding males are able to breed at one year of age. Workers are sterile, with the smaller focusing on gathering food and maintaining the nest, while larger workers are more reactive in case of attack. The non-reproducing females appear to be reproductively suppressed, meaning the ovaries do not fully mature, and do not have the same levels of certain hormones as the reproducing females. On the other hand, there is little difference of hormone concentration between reproducing and non-reproducing males. In experiments where the reproductive female was removed or died, one of the non-reproducing females would take over and become sexually active. Non-reproducing members of the colony are involved in cooperative care of the pups produced by the reproducing female. This occurs through the workers keeping the pups from straying, foraging for food, grooming, contributing to extension of tunnels, and keeping them warm.
The (Cryptomys damarensis) is the only other eusocial mammal currently known.