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The Cuban Solenodon 

By  Alexis Martin

The Solenodons are some of the most unique and rare mammals in the world. Similar animals lived all over North America 30 million years ago. However, today they are only found on the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. They can be described as large shrew-like animals with elongated noses and multicolored fur. They can grow to be about a foot long. With their rough tails, that can add another 10 inches.

Size of Solenodon

Size of Solenodon

Cuba Solenodons find food by rooting in the ground with their snouts and tearing into rotten logs and trees with their powerful fore claws. Their diet consists mainly of insects and worms. Still, they also feed on fruits, roots, vegetables, and small vertebrates. In captivity, they have been known to drink only while bathing.

The Solenodon, Part of the Small Group of Venomous Mammals

Solenodon-with-Opened-Mouth

Mouth of Solenodon

Solenodons are one of only a few venomous mammals. Like the duck-billed platypus. The Solenodons injects its venom like a snake through specially modified teeth. Snakes inject their venom through their upper jaws. In contrast, they have specialized lower incisor teeth, which have deep grooves connected to venom glands at the base of the teeth. Scientists today are still unclear on why these animals became venomous. It's been suggested that the venom helps them capture prey or avoid becoming prey.

Solenodon-Teeth

Solenodon Teeth

They are some of the last few surviving Caribbean land mammals and the population trend of the animal is unknown with no accurate population estimate available. However, it is believed to be that they are threatened now by habitat loss and predation from feral dogs and cats. They are important predators of invertebrates that may act as pests. Meaning they are the environments biological pest control.

Alexis Martin


I'm a first-generation Cuban immigrant. I have a passion for everything Cuba. I love to share our culture and my expertise in the world-famous Guayabera Shirt. On December 18, 2002, I sold my first Cuban Guayabera shirt online. I fell in love with the process and the fact that this is a business, you always have to be willing to learn. Many things have changed since then, new software services, new concepts. At Mycubanstore.com, we had been able to ride different market waves. We are always humbled and grateful for this privilege of building a future in this great country.

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