solenodon


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solenodon

(sōlē`nədŏn), venomous insectivorous mammal, genus Solenodon, found in the West Indies. Related to moles and shrews, the solenodon resembles a rat with an elongated snout and coarse, shaggy fur. Its body is about 14 in. (36 cm) long, and its naked, scaly tail c.9 in. (23 cm) long. It is the only living mammal that has specialized teeth (grooved incisors) that allow it to inject poisonous saliva into its prey. Solenodons are chiefly nocturnal; they eat insects, lizards, frogs, and other small animals, as well as carrion. Easily irritated, they fly into sudden rages, screaming and biting without provocation.

There are two surviving solenodon species. S. cubanus, found in the Bayama Mts. of Cuba, is rusty brown with black on its back and throat; S. paradoxus, found on Hispaniola, is darker brown with a yellowish face and a ruff of hair about the shoulders. Two extinct species are known from remains on Cuba and Hispaniola.

Solenodons are slow breeders, bearing a single litter of one to three young each year. Their numbers have been greatly reduced since the introduction of predators such as the mongoose, the cat, and the dog and as a result of habitat destruction, and they are now threatened with extinction. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Soricomorpha, family Solenodontidae.

solenodon

[sō′lē·nə‚dän]
(vertebrate zoology)
Either of two species of insectivorous mammals comprising the family Solenodontidae; the almique (Atopogale cubana) is found only in Cuba, while the white agouta (Solenodon paradoxus) is confined to Haiti.
References in periodicals archive ?
Only two solenodon species exist to this day, one in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and the other in Cuba.
FANTASY CREATURE: The strange-looking Hispaniolan solenodon is like nothing seen before, say scientists
Solenodons A skinny, scraggy rat with a Pinocchio-sized snout, the solenodon is descended from the first mammal on Earth.
London, Jan 10 (ANI): Scientists have captured rare footage of the venomous Hispaniolan solenodon, one of the world's most strange and elusive mammals on camera.
Hispaniolan solenodon (venomous shrew-like creature);
ESTRADA (2001): <<Subespecies nuevas de reptiles del complejo Anolis equestris (Lacertilia: Iguanidae) para los cayos Las Brujas, Coco y Sabinal, Archipielago de Sabana-Camaguey, Cuba>>, Solenodon, vol.
The Hispaniolan solenodon - which looks like a shrew with a long snout and has a poisonous bite - was trapped on the Dominican Republic.
The Hispaniolan solenodon, which can kill passing prey with a quick bite, was trapped in the Dominican Republic.
Hedgehogs are insectivores, an order of mammals that encompasses a hotchpotch of species from the ubiquitous shrews (Egypt has six species) to the exotic and often bizarre solenodons, tenrecs, moonrats and otter-shrews.
Solenodons are unique, so if we lost these creatures there wouldn't be anything else quite like them on Earth.