Monday, July 02, 2007

This Naked Mole Rat Wants to Lower Your Sex Drive

Stress can lower your libido and maybe even make you infertile. And nobody knows how to wield stress to that effect like the Queen of the African Naked Mole Rats (QANMR):
“The queen exerts her dominance over the colony by, literally, pushing the other members of the colony around. She shoves them to show who’s boss,” said Chris Faulkes, a zoologist at the University of London.

Faulkes explained that the stressful domination reduces fertility hormone levels—effectively suppressing puberty in young mole-rats, lowering sperm counts in males and even turning off the female ovulatory cycle.

“The queen also seems to exert control over the breeding males, so that concentrations of their testosterone are suppressed except when she is ready to mate,” he said.
Link. But could the QANMR tactic have an effect on non-mole-rat species? Indeed, what if it could affect other rodents?

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