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Solenodons: Solenodontidae

Physical Characteristics

The two living species in this family are the Cuban solenodon (suh-LEN-uh-dun), which is also known as the almiqui (ahl-mee-KEE), and the Hispaniolan solenodon, which is sometimes called the Haitian solenodon. Both have extremely long snouts that extend beyond the end of their lower jaw. Their four relatively tall legs, clawed feet, and long tails are nearly hairless. Most are brown on the back, or sometimes black in the Cuban solenodon, and have lighter-colored fur on their undersides. Cuban solenodons have longer, coarser, back hair, giving it a shaggier appearance. They are also slightly smaller than Hispaniolan solenodons. Overall, adult solenodons range from about 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) in length, and their tail adds another 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters). Adults weigh 1.3 to 2.4 pounds (0.6 to 1.1 kilograms).

Both species have glands under their front teeth that produce poison. When they bite into a prey animal, the poison flows from the glands down grooves in their teeth and into the prey.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsSolenodons: Solenodontidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Hispaniolan Solenodon (solenodon Paradoxus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SOLENODONS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS