Structura virilă de castă (și haremurile și perversiunea pe care aceasta le face agreabile, dacă nu chiar dezirabile) observată de istoricul Suetoniu în Imperiul Roman din epoca lui Tiberiu își are corespondentul riguros inversat în lumea animalelor.
Clusters averaging 75 to 80 individuals live together in complex systems of burrows in arid African deserts. The tunnel systems built by naked mole rats can stretch up to two or three miles in cumulative length.
There is dimorphism between the queen, her breeding males, and two kinds of workers. They have a complex social structure in which 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 relationships between the queen and the breeding males may last for many years; other females are temporally sterile. Queens live from 13 to 18 years, and are extremely hostile to other females behaving like queens, or producing hormones for becoming queens. When the queen dies, another female takes her place, sometimes after a violent struggle with her competitors. Once established, the new queen stretches the space between the vertebrae in her backbone to become longer and ready to bear pups.