The Hispaniolan Solenodon

Solenodons might resemble over-sized shrews, but their true origins are quite different. These primitive mammals first emerged in the Cretaceous Period. They are one of the oldest living mammal orders in the world. There are only two living species of solenodon today, the Cuban and the Hispaniolan. Both are on the verge of extinction, which would put an end to one of the longest running unique mammal orders in history.

The Hispaniolan solenodon is found only in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They are at great risk due to the lost of habitat, increased human activity, and the introduction of predators such as cats, dogs and mongooses. While the animal is protected by law, the national parks of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic are threatened by human encroachment.

Did you know that the solenodon is one of the few mammals with toxic saliva? Or that it injects this saliva using special grooves in its teeth? I like that we have poisonous prehistoric critters running around our world, and if it were up to me I would keep it that way.

Here is a solenodon I drew earlier today.

I actually hate the coloring job I did on this one, so here’s a coloring book version.

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