While totally sounding like a sci-fi planet, Solenodons are actually just insectivores. In the family Solenodontidae, there is only one genus-Solenodon and just two species. Yes, solenodons come in just two flavors the Hispaniolan (Solenodon paradoxus) and the Cuban (Solenodon cubanus). These shrew-like looking creatures have a venomous bite that emanates from a groove in their second incisors. Solenodons are reported to eat plants, insects, small invertebrates, but also reptile, amphibians, and rodents. They kill prey larger than themselves most likely after inflicting a fatal bite. The toxin blarina produces a peptide called bradykinin and this bite then leads to paralysis and convulsions.
notice boardGet science-y gifts from Michele at the DC Downtown Holiday Market from 5-8 December (Artmonger Inc at Booth #38).
At Pacific Standard, Mike explains how microbes in your armpit are making your pheromones.
Science for The People talks with the Allen Hornblum about the use of children in medical research in the US.
Have Science Will Travel