If any animal were going to outlive the dinosaurs, you probably wouldn’t guess it’d be this lil shrew-lookin’ dude. Look at it, with its little eyes and almost-creepily-bald snout. Crocodiles, deep-sea sharks—they look like they’ve survived millennia. But this guy? Nah.
But as it turns out, this little solenodon is part of one of the earliest branches of the mammalian family tree, departing from the rest about 74 million years ago. They are also one of the very few existing venomous mammals, and among a small group of animals that survived the human settlement of the Caribbean islands. Most others died off as their environment changed, but solenodons kept scurrying along in their maze of underground tunnels with their mini shovel paws.