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Rare Venomous Mammal Filmed

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the do-not-annoy-the-solenodon dept.

Science 233

Smivs writes "The BBC are reporting that footage of one of the world's most strange and elusive mammals has been captured by scientists. Large, and with a long, thin snout, the Hispaniolan solenodon resembles an overgrown shrew. It can inject passing prey with a venom-loaded bite. Dr Sam Turvey, a ZSL (Zoological Society of London) researcher involved with the program, told BBC News: 'It is an amazing creature — it is one of the most evolutionary distinct mammals in the world.' Along with the other species of solenodon, which is found in Cuba (Solenodon cubanus), it is the only living mammal that can actually inject venom into their prey through specialized teeth. Little is known about the creature, which is found in the Caribbean, but it is under threat from deforestation, hunting and introduced species. Researchers say conservation efforts are now needed. The mammal was filmed in the summer of 2008 during a month-long expedition to the Dominican Republic — one of only two countries where this nocturnal, insect-eating animal (Solenodon paradoxus) can be found (the other is Haiti). The researchers from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Ornithological Society of Hispaniola were able to take measurements and DNA from the creature before it was released."

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233 comments

Let me guess... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26389021)

The footage came from the District of Columbia.

Re:Let me guess... (-1, Troll)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389729)

I heard it was Redmond.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390127)

Wow. Now Microsoft is responsible for venomous mammals too. What a shocker!

Wow (5, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389057)

The BBC are reporting that footage of one of the world's most strange and elusive mammals has been captured by scientists.

What will slashdot be without Cowboy Neal?

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

Shagg (99693) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389107)

The BBC are reporting that footage of one of the world's most strange and elusive mammals has been captured by scientists.

A Slashdot member with a girlfriend?

Re:Wow (0, Redundant)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390367)

Or maybe his girlfriend.

Re:Wow (0, Troll)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389293)

Do we really need to conserve a species that can kill us and obviously isn't needed in the food chain?

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389315)

And if I were that ugly, I'd *welcome* extinction!!

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389635)

This is slashdot - that little animal is considered quite a looker!

Re:Wow (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389719)

Well, yeah, I did have that thought.. but I'm an *aging* geek, and over time I've developed higher standards. Gotta be pretty as a hedgehog at the very least.

Re:Wow (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390067)

Wow, /. mating standards have really dropped. What happened to gerbils? And when you put a hedgehog in your ass, you'd better hope that he turns around before he tries to shimmy back out!

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

interploy (1387145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390125)

Indeed. This thing makes an opossum looks like a sexy beast.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389625)

Can it even kill us? I couldn't find any information about how dangerous the venom was. Even if a bite could kill a human, that wouldn't make these creatures more dangerous that many types of insects, spiders, and snakes, and these poor critters are extremely rare and both variants of solenodons live on islands.

Anyway, you can kill people too and you as an individual are (obviously) not needed in the food chain, nor is your family. If I were you I'd hope others hold life in a higher regard than you do.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390161)

Anyway, you can kill people too and you as an individual are (obviously) not needed in the food chain, nor is your family. If I were you I'd hope others hold life in a higher regard than you do.

While I'm not in favor of wanton destruction of animal life, and conservation is a goal we should strive toward, but your analogy is specious. A human life is superior to an animal's life.

And if you disagree, you best think twice before you swat a fly, eat a hamburger, or enjoy produce or goods that were harvested, in part, by the forced labor of animals.

Re:Wow (0)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390293)

A human life is superior to an animal's life.

Why?

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390527)

A human life is superior to an animal's life.

Why?

Depends who you ask. I content we are because we are capable of intelligent thought and self-awareness. Douglas Hofstadter would tell you it's because we have a larger "soul" than animals (see this interview [forum2.org] ). More religious folk might tell you it's because God created us in his image and made the animals for our service.

It would be hard for one who has the moral conviction that human life is not superior to animal life to live a morally consistent life. How could they justify eating meat, that would be tantamount to eating a fellow human's flesh. How could they justify hitting an animal while driving, and continuing on their way. That would be equivalent to hitting and injuring or killing another person and just driving along on your way. How would they defend eating crops plowed by cows - that would be akin to slave labor. (Granted, that's not much of a concern in today's mechanized farms.)

So I ask you: why isn't a human's life superior to an animal's?

Re:Wow (1)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389643)

Do we really need to conserve a species that can kill us

From TFS

one of only two countries where this nocturnal, insect-eating animal (Solenodon paradoxus) can be found

Unless you're a large beetle, I don't think you have much to worry about...

and obviously isn't needed in the food chain

but with that attitude, maybe I spoke too soon....

Re:Wow (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389937)

Do we really need to conserve a species that can kill us and obviously isn't needed in the food chain?

No, I like humans.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26390243)

"Do we really need to conserve a species that can kill us and obviously isn't needed in the food chain?"

How dare you talk about Apple computers that way!

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389469)

The mammal was filmed in the summer of 2008 during a month-long expedition to the Dominican Republic â" one of only two countries where this nocturnal, insect-eating animal (Solenodon paradoxus) can be found (the other is Haiti).

I'd be a little perplexed if Haiti didn't have the animal in it, IT SHARES THE SAME GOD DAMN ISLAND with the Dominican Republic.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390079)

I'd be a little perplexed if Haiti didn't have the animal in it, IT SHARES THE SAME GOD DAMN ISLAND with the Dominican Republic.

Yeah, but if they had said it was native to Hispaniola most of us Americans wouldn't have a clue what they were talking about ;)

Mammals are different (2, Funny)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390155)

As we all know, mammals respect political borders.

Re:Wow (1)

mattkime (8466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390209)

>>I'd be a little perplexed if Haiti didn't have the animal in it, IT SHARES THE SAME GOD DAMN ISLAND with the Dominican Republic.

Despite sharing the same GOD DAMN ISLAND, economic and environmental conditions are extremely different.

Only Venom-Injecting Mammal? (5, Funny)

PK Tech Guy (1310715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389061)

Obviously they never met my ex-girlfriend...

Re:Only Venom-Injecting Mammal? (1)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389117)

And let the woman jokes begin. Anyone can please pass me the coconut, this shall be a fun ride.

Re:Only Venom-Injecting Mammal? (1)

neonux (1000992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389163)

A girlfriend?? You must be new..

oh wait.. ex

Re:Only Venom-Injecting Mammal? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389209)

I kind of feel sorry for these scientists. I'm guessing these scientists are not familiar with the dating scene?

'It is an amazing creature â" it is one of the most evolutionary distinct mammals in the world.' .... it is the only living mammal that can actually inject venom into their prey...

Yep, in the movie 'Species' when they are explaining to Madson why the alien is a female... he replies "you don't get out much, do you?"

Re:Only Venom-Injecting Mammal? (2, Funny)

Diamon (13013) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389707)

You dated a platypus?

Re:Only Venom-Injecting Mammal? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390163)

Obviously they never met my ex-girlfriend...

If your girlfriend was the one injecting stuff then you should have started a website to cash in ;)

Re:Only Venom-Injecting Mammal? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390217)

Kill her with fire!!!

snipe hunting (4, Funny)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389063)

i told you it was real

Re:snipe hunting (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390165)

Except in Communist Cuba, snipe hunts you!

So cute! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389135)

and yet, so deadly.

WARNING: Do not pet the Hispaniolan for it's cuteness can kill!!!

Rare Venomous Mammal (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389149)

Rare Venomous Mammal

Is it a Klingon who keeps the venom in a sac on the side of his jaw, and goes after amphibian women?

Re:Rare Venomous Mammal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26389227)

Thanks for making me remember the worst TNG episode ever. :(

Re:Rare Venomous Mammal (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389459)

Not true, there are plenty of other episodes that were far worse.

Hell, the episode directly before that one was terrible, IMO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_the_Beholder_(Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation) [wikipedia.org]

And just about any episode with Troi's mother, but here's my least favorite even among those: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_Living_(Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Rare Venomous Mammal (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390465)

Gotta disagree here. I've never seen any other character that was able to steamroll over Picard, Worf, Riker, Deanna Troi, AND Q with the ease that Lwaxana did. That was half the fun!

Another venemous mammal (5, Funny)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389177)

Large, and with a long, thin snout, the Hispaniolan solenodon resembles an overgrown shrew.

Hey, do we really need to resort to these petty ad hominem attacks when referring to Ann Coulter?

Re:Another venemous mammal (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389571)

Wrong animal. You're thinking of the 'Thin, and with a long, large snout' creature, which spews venom somewhat randomly. I say somewhat, because she probably hasn't read this thread yet. Ann Coulter a /.'r? *shudder*

How appropriate that my captcha for this post is 'danger'...

Re:Another venemous mammal (1)

ccady (569355) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389971)

Large, and with a long, thin snout, the Hispaniolan solenodon resembles an overgrown shrew.

Hey, do we really need to resort to these petty ad hominem attacks when referring to Ann Coulter?

Ad feminem you pedantic, insensitive clod!

Check out the Adam's apple on Coulter.... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390237)

and then tell us if "feminem" is still appropriate...

Re:Another venemous mammal (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390167)

Hey, do we really need to resort to these petty ad hominem attacks when referring to Ann Coulter?

Hey, do we really need to resort to these petty ad hominem attacks when referring to shrews?

Re:Another venemous mammal (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390357)

Large, and with a long, thin snout, the Hispaniolan solenodon resembles an overgrown shrew.

Hey, do we really need to resort to these petty ad hominem attacks when referring to Ann Coulter?

Not in the least. She may be venomous but she's not a mammal.

must be pretty small teeth (1)

Luxifer (725957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389215)

Hmm..

It can inject passing prey with a venom-loaded bite

and later

this nocturnal, insect-eating animal

must be pretty small teeth to be able to inject insects with a poison.

Re:must be pretty small teeth (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389403)

I had the same thought. Maybe it's an evolutionary dead end or something.

From TFA:

"The fossil record shows that some other now-extinct mammal groups also had so-called dental venom delivery systems. So this might have been a more general ancient mammalian characteristic that has been lost in most modern mammals, and is only retained in a couple of very ancient lineages."

Mammal poison vs. affection (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389853)

a more general ancient mammalian characteristic that has been lost in most modern mammals, and is only retained in a couple of very ancient lineages.

How does this work, I wonder? Are the mammals in question actually immune to the poison, or are they just built not to bite themselves somehow? Seems the most likely explanation.

If the latter though, I wonder if this is related to mammalian affection at all? Lots of mammals seem to be affectionate enough to lick their young/mates, nuzzle, groom peers, playfight, etc...

Re:Mammal poison vs. affection (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390119)

Good point... maybe there's something else that triggers the venom release? Like some kind of "hunting mode" brain chemical? Unfortunately this animal is so elusive they know very little about it.

Re:must be pretty small teeth (1)

pseudonymphetamine (1164307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390093)

um, read again. It is the 'Solenodon cubanus which is the only living mammal that can actually inject venom into their prey through specialized teeth.' Whereas, it is the 'Solenodon paradoxus which is the nocturnal, insect-eating mammal.'

I told you all!!! (2, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389221)

Vermicious Knids are real!

Re:I told you all!!! (1)

curmudgeous (710771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389241)

Actually, I think it's really a chupacabra.

Cue the ex-wife jokes in... (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389263)

3... 2... 1...

DiFi, Pelosi & Hillary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26390153)

Or... the Dianne Feinstein / Nancy Pelosi / Hillary Clinton jokes.

The three Gorgon sisters of politics... and venemous as hell itself... all three of them.

The sequel (3, Funny)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389289)

Solenodons On a Plane! Hmmm, doesn't have quite the same ring.

Re:The sequel (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389621)

Solenodons On a Plane! Hmmm, doesn't have quite the same ring.

Meh, just get Samuel L. Jackson to yell it and the rest of the film will work itself out.

But it eats only insects? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26389351)

I find it bizarre that this thing needs to inject venom into a little insect. Usually venomous land animals eat prey that is at least their own size or larger. That's what the venom is for, it gives an advantage so the predator can take on large or otherwise dangerous prey.

Re:But it eats only insects? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389429)

a little insect

You obviously haven't seen how big insects can get.

Re:But it eats only insects? (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389619)

It can also be for defense. If a predator doesn't survive the attack it benefits the other individuals of your species.

I'm also curious if they are positive this is actually venomous and not like the komodo dragon bite which is just from bacteria and not an actual venom.

Re:But it eats only insects? (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389955)

If they are as different as the article indicates, it may be that it's a defense mechanism.

Just a though.

So Ann Coulter is apparently back on tv... (1, Redundant)

ecolossal (209626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389371)

oh boy...

Well, you know how it's like. (1)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389383)

Passing prey with venom-loaded fangs?
I guess I'll just have to, for one, be welcoming our new, elusive, venomous, overlords.
Or wives.

Of course, it's endangered (2, Insightful)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389397)

...it is under threat from deforestation, hunting and introduced species.

They have no clue how many of these things there are, (other than there is more than one but fewer than enough to pave the whole island), but if course they're automatically "endangered" or "under threat" or whatever.

Re:Of course, it's endangered (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389465)

They have no clue how many of these things there are, (other than there is more than one but fewer than enough to pave the whole island), but if course they're automatically "endangered" or "under threat" or whatever

Hispaniola is not a very large island in terms of area. Considering this critter doesn't seem to be running through the cities, and the cities are expanding, it doesn't seem to be a very large leap to declare it endangered.

Re:Of course, it's endangered (0)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389531)

Are rats, mice, seagulls, Canadian Geese and pidgeons "endangered"? Cities have only helped them survive. This thing looks 'scavengy' to me - I bet it'll do fine eating sewer rats and other city gunk.

Re:Of course, it's endangered (2, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389979)

It looks scavengy to you? How nice. Did you read the bit where the people studying it say it eats live prey, and is very specially adapted to doing just that?

Re:Of course, it's endangered (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390085)

Actually it seems to be adapted to injecting poison into and eating insects, which is bewildering given its size. It could probably live well on cockroaches instead of mammalian vermin such as mice.

NB - I watched a documentary on HD Theater the other day that showed a six inch praying mantises attacking a 10 inch corn snake and doing some serious 'much-a-hole-in-your-side' damage to it before the mantis lost its grip. Also, it showed n African variety snatch up a mouse and eat it, as well as a variety that eats hummingbirds. Insect's revenge!

doubtful transition (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390105)

I bet it'll do fine eating sewer rats and other city gunk.

The article mentions that this critter subsists on a diet of insects. It would be a rather significant step to go from eating invertebrates to eating other mammals.

Re:doubtful transition (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390227)

Yeah, I mentioned that oversight in another post. I suggested cockroaches would probably do nicely for it. Any maybe those nasty camelback crickets.

Re:Of course, it's endangered (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389535)

Yeah, that was the first thing that caught my eye. In one sentence they're basically saying "we know next to nothing about these things, and have only managed to capture one" and then a couple sentences later they're telling us that not only are these creatures endangered, but we know exactly why.

Right.

In other news, I've figured out why alien abductions are on the decrease: clearly our excessive CO2 output is impacting the ability of space-aliens to exist in our atmosphere. I'd provide evidence, but I don't want to exceed the BBC's standards for news coverage.

Vampires (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26389457)

I always thought vampire myths came from Rabies.

But if the fine article is correct about venemous teeth being an ancient trait of mammals that we evolved out of -- would that mean that ancient humans or apes may have had venomous teeth as well?

Maybe there's a chupacabra out there riding Nessie around the Loch Ness...

Nerdy Animals (3, Interesting)

writerjosh (862522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389501)

"Solenodon paradoxus collects food by digging extensive tunnel systems under the ground, then foraging for insects and other invertebrates from the surrounding soil.

Foods eaten include: millipedes (Iulides), ground beetles (Carabidae), various orthopteran insects (Gryllidae, Tettigoniidae, Blattidae), earthworms (Lumbricidae) and various types of snails."

Strange that an animal loaded with venom doesn't go after small mammals or something.

"Solenodon paradoxus is described as a 'slow mover' and a 'clumsy runner with no agility in avoiding enemies and a poor means of defense'"

So what you're saying is, Solenodon paradoxus is the nerd of the jungle.

more interesting facts: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Solenodon_paradoxus.html [umich.edu]

Re:Nerdy Animals (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390075)

More venomous mammal info for nerds-

Another mammal with venom is the Platypus, it has spines in it's armpits that when injected causes unbelievably severe pain.

Re:Nerdy Animals (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390573)

Strange that an animal loaded with venom doesn't go after small mammals or something.

One might even say it was paradoxical...

Looks like a possum (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389505)

Looks like a possum...probably tastes like one, too.

Re:Looks like a possum (1)

theredshoes (1308621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389777)

It is like a possum and pinocchio had a love child.

Terror of the Fire Swamp (5, Funny)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389519)

Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

Re:Terror of the Fire Swamp (1)

MiharuSenaKanaka (1080135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390415)

Sure they do. Most people just use the word "politicians" instead.

From wiki (1)

arugulatarsus (1167251) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389547)

As well as having a venomous bite, a solenodon has glands in the armpits and in the groin which allegedly give off a goat-like smell. It readily defends itself against one of its own kind and is apparently not immune to its own venom since animals have been seen to die after fighting and sustaining minor wounds. It also probably attacks other animals savagely judging from the way a captive solenodon was reported to have attacked a young chicken and torn it to pieces with its strong claws, before eating it. In moments of excitement it may grunt like a pig or give bird-like cries, but when pursued it stays motionless and hides its head, making it easy to capture.

This animal does sound kind of odd. It can rip apart a chicken like a bear, grunt like a pig and smell like a man. I wonder if it's threatened by global warming?

How is it threatened by hunting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26389583)

If they only now found one, how the heck is it threatened by hunting?

ROUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26389589)

Anyone else getting the R.O.U.S. feeling?

Re:ROUS (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390013)

I don't think they exist...

(followed by screaming)

Re:ROUS (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390025)

Yeah, looks just like the Rodents Of Unusual Size from Princess Bride. Freaky.

Any fireswamps in Haiti?

Poor platypus (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389645)

And all this time I thought the platypus was the only venomous mammal. You learn something new every day.

Which is it? (1)

wirehead_rick (308391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389653)

Large, and with a long, thin snout ... It can inject passing prey with a venom-loaded bite.

... one of only two countries where this nocturnal, insect-eating animal (Solenodon paradoxus) can be found ...

OK. Large venom injecting animal probably doesn't need venom to eat insects.

First thought that comes to mind (5, Funny)

Catiline (186878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389879)

Just from reading this article, I feel like it's the lead in to a Monty Python sketch.

"And in this cage," (displays empty cage), "we can see the rare Caribbean poisonous shrew, which jumps out and injects its' prey with venom. Bites are instantly fatal, so we have to use extreme..."
[A brown blur crosses the screen and attacks the speaker's face] "AAAAAAARRRRRRRGH!"

Theme song (1)

chandoni (28843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389901)

Killer Shrew!
Killer Shrew!
Don't know the difference 'tween me and you!
He comes out at night,
To give you a fright!
Don't look now
But he's gonna take a bite!
(Down-da-da-down-da-da-down-da-da-down)
Killer Shrew!
Killer Shrew!
K-I-Double L-E-R Shrew
He's scary and tough!
If that ain't enough,
He's augmented with
Bat mites and stuff!

--MST3K ode to the Killer Shrews [wikipedia.org]

Invasion of privacy (1)

RKenshin1 (899412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389911)

How did they get footage of my wife???

Eats insects, but needs venom? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389919)

If it eats insects, why would it need venomous teeth? It looks like the kind of thing that runs away from bigger animals, so I can't imagine it used in defense. And insects could be swallowed whole.

Although, I don't know what insects are look in the Dominican Republic... I've seen desert cockroaches bigger than a human hand.

Odd Creature (1)

ilikebees (1382425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389977)

Check out the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispaniolan_Solenodon [wikipedia.org] "Females, even though they have an irregular estrus period that is apparently unrelated to seasonal changes, may have two litters of 1-3 young per year. Usually, only 2 of the offspring (weighing 40 to 55 grams) survive, because the female only has two teats, which are found in a most unusual place: near the buttocks of the animal." "As well as having a venomous bite, a solenodon has glands in the armpits and in the groin which allegedly give off a goat-like smell." "When they do come out, they run on their toes with a stiff ungainly waddle, following an erratic almost zigzag course. The local people claim that solenodons never run in a straight line. Moreover, when a solenodon is alarmed and tries to put on speed it is as likely as not to trip over its own toes or even tumble head-over-heels."

ROUS? (1)

URADingus2 (908555) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390033)

Until I saw the video, I thought maybe they had footage of a real ROUS [sortingoutscience.net]

Hmm... (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390035)

Large, and with a long, thin snout, the Hispaniolan solenodon resembles an overgrown shrew. It can inject passing prey with a venom-loaded bite.

Good, old-fashioned, nightmare fuel.

Fangs (2, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390187)

We discovered a River Otter living in our pond. I was suddenly glad the little guy wasn't poisonous. He was enjoying one of my bluegill for breakfast this am. If he starts eating my bass he could become an endangered species. Cute little rascal, though.

Wonder why an insect eating mammal needs venom? Those must be some bad ass bugs he's hunting.

This is why I lose sleep at night (4, Funny)

Badmovies (182275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390327)

I know that, somewhere, a crazy genetic engineer is holding one of those little venomous beasts in his hand and thinking to himself, "These are cool. I wish they were bigger!"

His office is right next door to the insane scientist who is trying to breed 40 lb tarantulas, and down the hall from the aquarium-hugging genius who wants to cross flying fish with piranhas.

Re:This is why I lose sleep at night (1)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390495)

I hate to go OT... but I saw your sig and I have to ask...

Does he beat Uwe Boll in cinematic disasters?

Rare indeed ... (1)

hggs (904576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390467)

Well, I have to agree with parent post on this. I have lived on the Dominican Republic for 33 years, and had never even heard of these solenodons. Guess it's time to leave the office and see my surroundings every once in a while...

Obiligatory (1)

chromakey (300498) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390477)

I, for one, welcome our new Hispaniolan solenodon overlords!

What about shrews? (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390497)

I mean they're venomous as well. (Well at least some species.) These guys can actually pump it in (keep you minds out of the gutter) instead of it just flowing out? (I said keep your minds out of the gutter.)

What about Steve? (0, Troll)

nickull (943338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390569)

"it is the only living mammal that can actually inject venom into their prey through specialized teeth" did they invite Steve Ballmer to this contest? At least the shrew cannot throw a chair very far.
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