solenodon

solenodon

[suh-lee-nuh-don, -len-uh-]
noun
either of two insectivores of the genus Solenodon, resembling a large shrew and having small eyes, a long and pointy snout, and a scaly tail, including the coarse-haired, reddish-brown to grayish-black S. paradoxus of Hispaniola and the finer-haired, usually darker S. cubanus of Cuba: S. paradoxus is an endangered species; S. cubanus is rare and possibly endangered.

Origin:
1830–40; < Neo-Latin < Greek sōlḗn channel, pipe, syringe + -odōn -toothed (see -odont)

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solenodon (səˈlɛnədən)
 
n
either of two rare shrewlike nocturnal mammals of the Caribbean, Atopogale cubana (Cuban solenodon) or Solenodon paradoxus (Haitian solenodon), having a long hairless tail and an elongated snout: family Solenodontidae, order Insectivora (insectivores)
 
[C19: from New Latin, from Latin sōlēn sea mussel, razor-shell (from Greek: pipe) + Greek odōn tooth]

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solenodon

either species of large shrewlike mammal found only on the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. Solenodons have a chunky body with short, stocky legs. Various skin glands give it a goatlike odour. The elongate head has very small eyes and tapers to a long, flexible snout adorned with long whiskers. Its saliva is toxic and enters the prey as the solenodon bites with its incisors. Solenodons weigh 800 to 1,100 grams (1.8 to 2.4 pounds) and have a body 28 to 39 cm (11 to 15 inches) long and a shorter tail of 18 to 26 cm. The coarse fur is dark brown to reddish brown or blackish on the head and back and whitish or buff on the sides. The tail and feet are scantily haired.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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