Page last updated at 06:13 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Venomous mammal caught on film

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Rare footage of one of the world's most strange and elusive mammals has been captured by scientists.

Large and with a long, thin snout, the Hispaniolan solenodon resembles an overgrown shrew; it can inject passing prey with a venom-loaded bite.

Little is known about the creature, which is found in the Caribbean, but it is under threat from deforestation, hunting and introduced species.

The Hispaniolan solenodon is one of the animals highlighted by the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) Edge of Existence programme, which focuses its efforts on conservation plans for animals that are both endangered and evolutionarily distinctive.

Footage courtesy of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust/ZSL.

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