Young Wrinklies: Episode 3: Series 1

The elephant and mole rat start their lives looking ancient and remain that way into old age, yet they outlive other animals their size. So what is their secret?

Young Wrinklies: Episode 3

The third episode of David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities takes a look at two creatures with very wrinkly skin: the naked mole rat and the elephant.

Attenborough on Naked Mole Rats

Naked Mole Rat

The naked mole rat's wrinkly skin and lack of hair suggests it is old, whatever their actual age.

They are the longest living rodent in the world, living up to an astonishing 28 years of age, but their body doesn’t seem to age.

Theories suggest that this is due to their unique body features in that they don’t feel pain, are cold-blooded like amphibians and reptiles and have a very low metabolism.

Could we learn how to treat diseases, such as cancer, from this unaging rodent?

Sir David Attenborough and an Asian Elephant

Sir David Attenborough and an Asian Elephant


Elephants are truly strange creatures, in both looks and behaviour.

The elephant's fascinating body could be the key to allowing it to live for up to seventy years.

An elephant's skin is generally very tough, being as thick as 2.5 cm, and is set with deep wrinkles. These wrinkles serve a very important purpose; it helps the animal better regulate body temperature and retain moisture in an inhospitable landscape.