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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Hispaniolan Solenodon


Beauty Of Animal | The Hispaniolan Solenodon | The Hispaniolan Solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus), also known as the Haitian Solenodon or Agouta is a solenodon only on Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was unknown to science until 1833, when it was first described by Brandt. There was a similar smaller species on the island, S. marcanoi, which became extinct after European colonization. All species belong to the order solenodon Soricomorpha Solenodontidae and family.
S. paradoxus looks like an oversized shrew. It weighs between 0.6 and 1.0 kg, 28 to 33 cm long (the tail measures an additional 25 cm). He has reddish brown fur on most of his body, the underside is a lighter shade. The tail, legs, muzzle and ear tips are hairless. The front legs are considerably more developed than the hind legs, but they all have strong claws for digging useful.

The head is very large in proportion to its body, and it has a long snout with small eyes and ears, partly hidden by the body fur. An interesting singularity is the os proboscis, a bone at the tip of the rostrum that the snout cartilage support. The dental formula for the species is 3 / 3, 1 / 1, 3 / 3, 3 / 3 = 40. The second lower incisor has a narrow groove (Solenodon derived from the Greek "grooved tooth") through which a toxic saliva secreted by the mandibular gland using the solenodon one of only a few poisonous mammals.

 Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Soricomorpha
Family:     Solenodontidae
Genus:     Solenodon
Species:     S. paradoxus
Both sexes are similar. Unexposed males have a penis and testes are hidden deep in the abdominal cavity. Women, although an irregular estrus period apparently unrelated to seasonal changes, possibly two litters of one to three young per year. Usually only two of the offspring survive, because the female has only two nipples, which are found in a most unusual place: near the bottom of the animal. The young are weaned after 75 days, but the young may remain with the parents while subsequent litters are born and raised, making it possible for eight animals to the same burrow. Solenodons can fight each other at the first meeting, but eventually they establish a dominance relationship and live together in captivity in relative harmony.


The species is fully protected by law. However, national parks, both in the Dominican Republic and Haiti threatened by deforestation and degradation for agriculture and charcoal production. The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Nature Conservancy is currently working with local non-governmental organizations to improve the protection and management plans for these parks (Parks in Peril program) to run. A recovery plan for the isolated Haitian population published in 1992 advocated extensive surveys, a better management of the National Park Pic Macaya, information campaigns, control of exotic mammals, and an ex-situ breeding programs. These recommendations are not involved.

Two Darwin Initiative-funded conservation research and education programs were recently established focus on solenodons both in the Dominican Republic and Haiti: "Building evidence and the ability to endemic country Hispaniola's mammals to save" (started 2009) and "Building a future unique to vertebrates Haiti "(started 2010). These joint projects represent a partnership between the EDGE program, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, BirdLife International, the Sociedad de la Ornitologica Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic National Zoo, Société Audubon Haiti, and in-country project partners.

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