The Hispaniolan Solenodon
The Hispaniolan solenodon holds a few distinctions outside of its rarity, as one of the few mammals able to produce venom, as well as one the last members of a lineage of shrews likely to have lived alongside the dinosaurs. Despite this storied past, however, the solenodon has faced serious pressures since European colonization introduced rats and other predators into their environment. Coupled with a low reproductive rate—two litters of one to three offspring a year—the solenodon finds itself critically endangered as one of the rarest animals left on earth. While exact population figures are unknown, the solenodon only occupies a scant area of 100 square kilometers in Haiti.