Wild Fact #912 – Dentists, Beware! – Solenodon

Photo by Eladio Fernandez

Well folks, it is Christmas Eve!! Are you excited for Santa? I remember the days of not being able to sleep and waking my parents up during the wee hours of the morning!  Time sure does fly!

The Christmas Eve Wild Fact will be about an animal that was thought to be extinct.  Imagine the look of surprise on the Solenodon’s face when he read the article declaring them extinct! In 2003, scientists managed to get some footage of this bizarre insectivore, which you can find in the post below.  So what is a solenodon? It is a venomous, nocturnal, mammal that resembles a large shrew. As you may have guessed that venomous trait is what qualifies the solenodon the honour of being Wild Fact #912.

Before we get into the deadly aspects of the solenodon I will give you some more information about these little critters.  Well, I guess they aren’t that little since they can grow up to 2 feet and weigh up to 1.5 pounds.  These bizarre mammals can only be found in Cuba and in Hispaniola (which is the island where the Dominican Republic and Haiti can be found).  The solenodon will make numerous clicking sounds while hunting for dinner.  Are they just clicking because they are happy? No, they are using these clicks to find their prey.  It is an example of echolocation, similar to how dolphins or bats see their surroundings.

Once they find their prey they will utilize their specialized and venomous saliva to neutralize their dinner. One bite and the deadly saliva will be transferred through the grooved, lower incisor’s of the solenodon into their prey.  As you can imagine this poison will immobilize their prey so they can eat without that pesky feeling that your dinner is still alive!

So there you have it folks!  Just a little bit of information about an animal that was thought to be extinct.  Make sure you check out the video in the post below.

After you finish the video get off the computer and go spend some time with your family and friends on Christmas Eve!

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  1. Carmen Henesy 8 years ago
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