The Rare Almiqui
Posted on November 21, 2005The Cuban Solenodon, also known as the Almiqui, is an insect eating rat-like creature that lives in Cuba. As the Wikipedia entry explains these unusual looking creatures were once thought to be extinct.
TimeforKids.com explains why the creature is so difficult to find -- it is nocturnal and lives underground.16-22 inches (40-55 centimeters) long from nose to tail, the Cuban Solenodon resembles a large brown rat with an extremely elongated snout and a long, naked, scaly tail. The Cuban Solenodon was mistakenly believed extinct since the last sighting in 1999 mainly because it is a nocturnal burrower, living underground. It is therefore very rarely seen. Since its discovery in 1861 by the German naturalist Wilhelm Peters, only 36 had ever been caught. The Cuban Solenodon that was found in 2003, named Alejandrito, brought the number to 37. He weighed 24 ounces and was healthy. He was released back into the wild after two days of scientific study were completed.
YesButNoBuyYes has a Cuban Almiqui cartoonIt's no wonder so few have been found since then. The furry mammal is nocturnal. It stays underground during the daytime and comes up to eat worms and insects only when the sun goes down. Some scientists thought the almiqui might be extinct because none had been found since 1999.