Friday, 9 January 2009
Have Gunbunnies Met Their Match? Zoology Update.
The BBC are reporting today on a particularly rare creature, the Hispaniolan solenodon, which has as its main distinguishing characteristic that it is a venomous mammal.
The astute readership of this journal has likely already noted the lack of solenodon Tiny or Anthropomorphic avatars available. Most likely this is due to the obscurity of these animals, and not their unique rat-vs-shrew looks, or certainly, their ability (rare in Mammalia) to inject venom during a biting attack.
Another peculiar (and one might rightly say, disturbing) feature of the solenodon is that the young stay close to their mother by "hanging on to her elongated teats", as one article states. Of note, these teats are located near the buttocks of the creature, an arrangement that may make one glad not to be a juvenile solenodon.
They also have odoriferous glands in the groin and armpits which are reported to give off a goat-like smell. These particular traits may explain the lack of widespread interest in solenodon anthropomorphic roleplay, at least in most social circles.
Normally solitary, solenodons only seek out their own for mating, after which they retreat from one another.
They are said to be easily-provoked, biting and squealing upon the slightest stimulus. However, when they sense they are being pursued as prey, their behaviour tends towards remaining motionless, and hiding the head -- not a particularly advantageous adaptation, which perhaps explains their endangered status.
So, perhaps, the initial thought that this venomous mammal would be a reasonable match against the Caledonian gunbunny was off-base. Granted, the solenodons have the advantage in the venom category, and they are ferocious in their own right. However, L. caledoniensis takes the lead in indefatigability, panache, derring-do, and loyalty.