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Buried information.

Information, and especially pictures, of these strange mammals is always of interest ("Naked and Not: Two species of mole rats run complex societies underground," SN: 6/24/06, p. 394). I wanted to check on the statement about "several dozen species in sub-Saharan Africa." Alas, I was unable to do so. Science News hadn't bothered to include either generic or specific names for any species discussed. How unfortunate to have this very important piece on Jennifer Jarvis' life's work marred by editorial lapses.

SCOTT MCCLEVE, DOUGLAS, ARIZ.

"Mole rat" is applied to rodents in several families, but the article focused on the Bathyergidae, which includes the Damaraland mole rat (Cryptomys damarensis) and the naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Walker's Mammals of the World recognizes 14 species, but Chris Faulkes of the University of London says that DNA evidence supports even more.--S. MILIUS
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Author:McCleve, Scott
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Aug 26, 2006
Words:143
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