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Naked mole-rats can survive without oxygen for 18 minutes

Smithsonian's National Zoo / Flickr CC

Naked mole-rats can survive up to 18 minutes deprived of oxygen — without damaging tissues or vital organs, a new study shows. Mice in a zero-oxygen environment died in 20 seconds; naked mole-rats in that same environment lost consciousness, but then resumed breathing when they were exposed to air. They rejoined their colony without any signs of brain damage or behavioral problems.

Sound smart: The process the oxygen-deprived naked mole-rats switch to in order to avoid brain and tissue damage is fructose-driven glycolysis.