Hispaniolan solenodon


Hispaniolan solenodon nose poke

The Hispaniolan solenodon forages mainly on arthropods, as it is known as an insectivore. Since it is nocturnal, it searches for food at night. S. paradoxus typically searches for its dinner in the soil, but it also scavenges in rotten wood. It often leaves excavations in the soil, commonly referred to as nose pokes, during its hunt for food. Watch this video to see S. paradoxus searching for food.



Hispaniolan solenodon

 S. paradoxus is a very successful hunter due to its ability to stun its prey via venom, strong limbs and claws, and mobile snout. Occasionally, the Hispaniolan solenodon treats itself to fruit and vegetation, but it mainly eats insects and worms. Snakes, lizards, and birds have also been known to be prey items. The Hispaniolan solenodon uses its forelimbs to pin down its prey and then bites it which injects the venom, making the prey item immobile.



 Hispaniolan solenodon in grassYou may be thinking why would an insectivorous animal need a venomous bite? Well, due to the high metabolic demand of S. paradoxus it has been known to overcome vertebrate prey larger than itself. Having venom for this use would work well for the solenodon. Also, the venom could paralyze smaller prey without killing it which would allow the Hispaniolan solenodon to keep it for a longer period of time before feeding on it. However, it is a topic of debate over whether or not the saliva is just a by-product of the digestive function.



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