Saturday, January 10, 2009

Venomous mammal

This is just so cool. Video of Solenodon paradoxus, or the Hispaniolan Solenodon, from the jungle of the Dominican Republic. S. paradoxus and S. cubanis (from Cuba) are the only mammals known that can inject venom through specialised teeth.

While no other known living mammal can inject venom in this way, a number of fossil mammals have similarly modified teeth, and so it is though that this ability may have been more widespread in the geological past.

The animal is very rare - although if you looked like an old man with a bad toupee, you'd be reclusive too!

More info in the BBC story that accompanies the video.


  1. I thought the platypus was the only venomous mammal... damn, another one of my favourite items of relatively useless trivia shown to be wrong.

  2. There aren't many venomous mammals. I knew about the platypus and some shrews but I hadn't heard of the solenodon before.

  3. Looks like 4 types of poisonous mammals - Platys, shrews, solenodons, and slow lorises (they secrete a toxin from their elbows and lick it to have a poison bite - also put it on their babies to deter predators).

  4. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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