Photo/Illutration

Editor's note: This is part of a series of videos offering an up-close perspective on the animal kingdom. A special 360-degree video camera system was set up in zoos and other facilities to show how the animals view their world as they interact.

Also visit our special 360-DEGREE LIVES page (http://t.asahi.com/360lives), where you can watch all the previous videos.

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Naked mole rats are popular for being “creepy cute” as they are nearly hairless, have projecting teeth and wrinkled skin.

The rodent is disease-resistant with a reputation for longevity. It is an unusual mammal in that it lives a eusocial existence, meaning the species exists in a cooperative group, like ants.

Naked mole rats are the only live mammal exhibited at iZoo, a facility devoted mainly to reptiles and amphibians, in Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Their nest, which is connected with transparent pipes, is divided into chambers. This includes a place to eat, another in which to sleep and even a space for toilet needs.

Naked mole rats live in groups in underground colonies in dry regions of Ethiopia, Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, feeding on the roots of plants like potatoes.

A community of naked mole rats consists of a queen, several males, "soldiers" tasked with protecting the nest and "workers" assigned to maintaining the burrows and gathering food.

While preparations were under way to begin capturing their lives on video, several pups born in late January came toddling out. But sensing danger was afoot, worker mole rats escorted the pups to the back of the nest.

“Each one has its own role, and it is interesting as it mimics human society,” said zookeeper Nachi Watanabe.

According to Watanabe, similar-sized rats tend to have a lifespan of two to three years, but some naked mole rats lived for 30 years or so.

As the rodent appears to be immune to cancer, reseachers at home and abroad are trying to understand the biology of the creature.