Cuban Solenodon ( Solenodon cubanus )
The Cuban Solenodon or Almiquí ( Solenodon cubanus ) is a mammal of the order Insectivora ( Eulipotyphla ). Along with the Dominican or Haitian Solenodon it forms the family of Solenodon ( Solenodontidae ). It is endemic to the island of Cuba and endangered.
Like all Solenodon similar to the Cuban Solenodon a large, stocky built shrew. Characteristic is the long, trunk-like nose, legs and tail are nearly hairless. From the second Schlitzrüsslerart, the Dominican Solenodon he is distinguished by a longer, softer fur, which also dark - colored - usually black brown. The body length is about 28 to 39 cm and weight from 0.8 to 1 kilogram.
Like all Solenodon produces the Cuban Solenodon in the mandibular salivary gland of a neurotoxin that allows him to overpower relatively large prey.
Distribution and habitat
Cuban Solenodon are endemic to the island of Cuba. Today, their range is limited to small regions in the southeast of the island. Their habitat is forests, sometimes they also inhabit grasslands.
Way of life
The lifestyle of the Cuban Schlitzrüsslers is less developed than that of his Dominican relatives. It is mainly nocturnal and spends the day hidden in crevices, holes in the ground or self-dug Building. In search of food they are looking for either on the surface or under the ground with its trunk-like nose for food, sometimes they also use the strong front claws to do so.
Cuban Solenodon are omnivorous, but mainly take meat to him. On their menu are millipedes, insects, earthworms, but also small vertebrates and sometimes fruits and other plant material.
Also concerning reproduction little is known. Presumably, they should closely match that of the Dominican Schlitzrüsslers.
The main reasons for the threat of the Cuban Schlitzrüsslers one hand, the re-enactment by introduced animals such as pet dogs, cats and mongooses. On the other hand, the destruction of their habitat limits their distribution areas of an ever.
After its first description in 1861, only a few specimens of this species were found, mid-20th century it was feared that they could be extinct already. Since the 1970s, copies were again found in the eastern regions of Cuba, most recently in 1999, 2003 and 2012. During the last fund in 2012 were in the area of El Toldo, found in Alexander von Humboldt National Park seven healthy specimens. The biologist Dr. Rafael Páez Borroto by the Cuban Ministry of the Environment interpreted this as a sign of a slow recovery of the population. The species is considered rare, the IUCN lists them as endangered ( endangered ).