Hispaniolan solenodon

ClassificationHispaniolan solenodon walking

          Order- Soricomorpha
             Family- Solenodontidae
                  Species-Solenodon paradoxus



Eukaryotic CellSolenodon paradoxus belongs to the Eukarya domain because it is a eukaryotic organism. This means that it has membrane bound organelles, a true nucleus, and DNA. A few other organisms that belong to this domain include Ananas comosus (Pineapple), Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg), and Psilocybe cubensis (Magic mushroom).



 Fish in coral
Solenodon paradoxus belongs to the Animalia kingdom. This means that it is heterotrophic. Heterotrophic organisms have to acquire their food; they cannot produce it themselves like autotrophic organisms. Also, members of Animalia are multicellular. Amphiprion ocellaris (Clownfish) and Stenella longirostris (Spinner dolphin) are also members of Animalia.


Polar bear

Solenodon paradoxus belongs to the Chordata kingdom. Chordates have five unique characteristics that set them apart from other phyla in the kingdom Animalia. They possess a notochord, dorsal nerve chord, pharyngeal gill slits, endostyle, and postanal tail. Even though this chordate does not possess all of these features as an adult, it did at some point in its lifetime. Chordates also show bilateral symmetry, have three germ layers, a well-developed coelom, an endoskeleton, and a complete digestive system. Other members included in the kingdom Chordata are Ursus maritimus (Polar bear) and Balaenoptera musculus (Blue whale).

Solenodon paradoxus belongs to the Mammalia class because it has hair, three middle ear bones, and produces milk via modified sweat glands called mammary glands. A few other organisms in this class are Vicugna pacos (Alpaca), Castor canadensis (North American Beaver), and Hippopotamus amphibious (Hippo).


Eastern moleSolenodon paradoxus belongs to the Soricomorpha order. Soricomorpha literally means shrew-shaped. Members of this order are well known for their incredibly fast-paced life. They also must feed as often as they can in order to provide enough energy to keep up to their lifestyle. Another organism that is classified in the Soricomorpha order is the Scalopus aquaticus, which is commonly known as the eastern mole.



Hispaniolan solenodonSolenodon paradoxus belongs to the Solenodontidae family because it has a long snout that extends beyond the lower jaw, four legs, clawed feet, and a long tail that is essentially hairless.


Hispaniolan solenodon in leavesSolenodon paradoxus belongs to the Solenodon genus. Solenodons have venomous saliva that is excreted from their modified salivary glands. They are also nocturnal burrowers.
Solenodon paradoxus is commonly referred to as the Hispaniolan solenodon because it resides in Hispaniola, which is an island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.



Modified from organismal biologyThe phylogenetic tree to the right is the most basic way to separate organisms within the Eukarya domain. I have bolded the taxonomic classes that S. paradoxus belongs to. I have started with the most basic way to classify an organism, its domain. There are seven supergroups within the Eukarya domain. Each supergroup contains kingdoms. So if we follow S. paradoxus through the Eukarya domain, we see that it fits into the supergroup Opisthokonta. This is because it has posterior flagella at some point in its lifetime. Then we can follow it to the kingdom Animalia. This tree is based off of class notes from Organismal Biology 203 at UW-La Crosse.

Modified from Cambridge Journals Online This phylogenetic tree is a continuation of the one above. I have again bolded the taxonomic classes that S. paradoxus follows. The order Soricomorpha, historically known as Insectivora, contains families consisting of shrews, moles, and solenodons. The genus Solenodon only contains two extant species. The Cuban solenodon is in very close relation to the Hispaniolan solenodon and they are very similar in appearance. The difference between the two species lies in where they reside. The Solenodontidae family also includes two extinct species, S. marcanoi and S. arredondoi. This tree is modified from Cambridge Journals Online. This journal shows several phylogenetic trees of the "Insectivora" order and how it has evolved over time.

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