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The Venomous Mammal by Qilong The Venomous Mammal by Qilong
The Venomous Mammal by Qilong (print image)

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Not all mammals are cute or fluffy.

The solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus) is one of few mammals about as fearsome as they are small. Solenodons eat a wide variety of things, but the most astonishing factoid one usually hears is that they are venomous. Their saliva is toxic, and there are grooves on the sides of its front teeth that help deliver this into bites. The teeth are very snake like in other fashions, too: the rear edges have deep keels, which aid in deep biting without as much force being delivered, good for an animal that hunts underground.
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:iconagv120395:
AGV120395 Featured By Owner May 5, 2015
that's why I love shrews and simlars, they're like venomous micro-wolves
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:iconquiet-specterowl:
quiet-SpecterOwl Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Remind me of elephant shrews. Little guys are beautiful. Once dropped my lunch when one came up next to me in the bushvelt, it lifted its little long snout and gave of a territorial shriek. We both froze at the sight of one another (felt like fools). I think they must also have that nose bone to be able to move their snout in that manner. I don't think they are short sighted and their obsession with food is no less than their continual OCD in keeping their escape "path" free from debrie (derbie?). Just leave a leaf in their path and wait, he/she will come by and unceremoniously yank the leaf from the path.
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:iconpr0teusunbound:
Pr0teusUnbound Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
i often find dead shrews in the wood, but only once have i seen a live one. you would think that having a venomous bite and an insatiable apatite would make these animals vicious superpredators, but their not. in attitude shrews are just fussy shortsighted mice with an obsession with food. i think its important to keep animals like shrews in mind when interpreting animal remains.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014
Shrews can be amazing animals, and there are some utterly fantabulpous shrews out there. But solenodons aren't really shrews but something a little more primitive than a shrew or a mole, but related to both.
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:iconzimices:
Zimices Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist
Why solenodonts don't have the zygomatic arch?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
No need. Solenodon's primary biting muscles are the temporalis complix, rather than the masseters. Similar adaptations occur in sloths, where the loss of the complete arch occurs with more complete fusion of the skull. Arch helps dissipate stress away from the snout and from the masseter muscles. But those muscles are still there, just smaller.
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:iconzimices:
Zimices Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist
I see. The only similar case that I've seen is in anteaters, but I guess that in it is because their weak mandibles, right?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Well, sloths have a gap, too. Also, pangolins. Loss of the arch means merely loss of a section of bone that, while it normally attaches muscle, is not needed there. The muscles are either reduced or moved. Mostly, it's about changes in which muscles are being emphasized, or a reduction entirely. And yes, in anteaters it's because they have weak buccal muscles.
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:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting how mammals are generally associated with being "cuddly" and "friendly" today when their skeletons are probably some of the most terrifying in the animal kingdom.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Yeah, I know!
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:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
What are the projections coming out of the front?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
The little projection is a special bone only solenodons have, called an os proboscis, or "nose bone," which is mobile and helps support cartilage of the snout and helps move the nose. They have very long noses.
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:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Oh, that's pretty cool. Thanks!
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
No prob!
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
It's a possible ancestor of the Rhinogradentia!

Well done skull by the way :thumbsup:
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Heh, rhinogrades. Sometimes I wish I was more into spec bio as some of you guys.
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
And I wish I would be able to understand everything about myo- and osteology you write ^^
Nobody is perfect =)
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014
Everyone teaches everyone else. I prefer organic education. I am personally impressed with your grasp of diverse biologies, so we can agree we're evenly impressed ;)
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
Indeed ;)
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:iconyo-snap:
Yo-Snap Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Coolio! Your skulls are always the best!
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
Thanks!
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