Friday, 8 May 2009

Solenodons: cuddly, near-prehistoric, poisonous shrew creatures

Special thanks to my friend Maley for suggesting the three awesome/freaky animals featured in this week's critter roundup on OMG What is that???. They are truly weird, in the best possible way. Take for example, the solenodon. Their name sounds like a prehistoric dinosaur type, which is funny because according to Wikipedia, the species resembles "very closely those that lived near the end of the age of the dinosaurs." Hmm. But that's not all. Besides looking totally bizarre, check out this little pearl of knowledge from our friends over at Wikipedia:

Solenodons have a few intriguing traits, two of them being the position of the teats (2) on the female, almost on the buttocks of the animal, and the second being the venomous saliva that flows from modified salivary glands in the mandible through grooves on the second lower incisors.

Yes, that's right. This is one of NORTH AMERICA's, and the world's only venomous mammals. The only existing subspecies now live in Haiti and Cuba, although they were once prevalent throughout North America. They no longer are, because they're endangered. :-(

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