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solenodon

[suh-lee-nuh-don, -len-uh-] /səˈli nəˌdɒn, -ˈlɛn ə-/
noun
1.
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
1830-1840
1830-40; < New Latin < Greek sōlḗn channel, pipe, syringe + -odōn -toothed (see -odont)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for solenodon

solenodon

/səˈlɛnədən/
noun
1.
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)
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Latin sōlēn sea mussel, razor-shell (from Greek: pipe) + Greek odōn tooth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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