Definition of solenodon in US English:



  • A forest-dwelling mammal with a long flexible snout and a stiff muscular tail, occurring only in Cuba and Hispaniola.

    Family Solenodontidae and genus Solenodon: two species

    • ‘One of only two species of solenodon, the Cuban solenodon is a rare insectivore that resembles a large rat.’
    • ‘However, this crop destruction was incidental to the solenodon's predation on insects beneath the soil.’
    • ‘They typically have a long snout, as evidenced by most moles and shrews and solenodons.’
    • ‘The two species of solenodon were first discovered by Europeans in 1833 on the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba.’
    • ‘Both species (Solenodon paradoxus and Solenodon cubanus) of the solenodon of the West Indies also are poisonous.’
    • ‘Solenodons and people usually do not see one another, unless the solenodon makes its home in a plantation or garden.’
    • ‘As the theory goes, an asteroid, about 10 kilometers in diameter, struck somewhere in what is now the Yucatan peninsula, not far from where the solenodon lives today.’
    • ‘We'll also find out about small mammals called ‘solenodons’ that date back to the age of dinosaurs - and could have lived through the asteroid impact that killed the huge reptiles.’
    • ‘Stopping over at Havana he learned from one of his young animal gatherers that a few solenodons (molelike animals the size of small opossums) still exist along Cuba's southern shore.’
    • ‘Insectivora has been restricted to the Lipotyphla (shrews, solenodons, moles, hedgehogs, tenrecs and golden moles).’
    • ‘In addition to the solenodon, the only mammals that use venom today are the North American short-tailed shrew, the Eurasian water shrew, and the Australian duck-billed platypus.’
    • ‘Mammals that use venom are rare - the duck-billed platypus, a few shrews and the odd solenodons of Cuba and Hispaniola.’
    • ‘The solenodon has poisonous salivary glands with ducts opening at the base of its large second lower incisors, which are deeply grooved on the inner sides to inject venom when biting.’
    • ‘The date of their divergence means that, unlike most modern mammalian species, the solenodons were around in the age of Tyrannosaurus rex.’
    • ‘The main prey of solenodons is animals (including insects), but they sometimes eat plant material as well.’
    • ‘The solenodons diverged from all other mammal groups an incredible 76 million years ago and were, until recently, among the dominant predators of the West Indies.’
    • ‘For example, China's Yangtze river dolphin and the solenodons of Hispaniola and Cuba, are the last surviving representatives of entire families of mammals, yet are unfamiliar to both conservationists and the public, and are frequently overlooked by current conservation initiatives.’
    • ‘The Sanderson collection contains such rare and scientifically interesting smaller mammals as otter shrews and solenodons.’
    • ‘One of the interesting things about shrews, hedgehogs, moles and solenodons is that they are insectivores (they eat mostly insects.)’


Modern Latin, from Greek sōlēn ‘channel, pipe’ + odō (variant of odous, odont-) ‘tooth’.