Dinosaur-surviving mammal endangered by stray dogs


Research shows the solenodon evolved more than 70 million years ago – in time to hang out with dinosaurs. But today these unique mammals face a barrage of threats including stray dogs, feral cats, invasive mongoose and deforestation.

If there was any justice in the animal kingdom – any at all – the solenodon would be as famous as the tiger. The solenodon is a rabbit-sized, shrew-like mammal that is only found on two Caribbean islands: Cuba and Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti).

There are a whole slew of reasons why the solenodon’s star should rise, including the facts that it’s one of the only venomous mammals and David Attenborough really likes it. But, most of all, the solenodon should be famous because it somehow survived the asteroid collision that killed off the dinosaurs, not to mention the next 66 million years of other catastrophes, from Ice Ages to the rise of bipedal destroyers named Homo Sapiens. Continue reading…