Often compared to shrews, solenodons resemble rats with extremely elongated snouts, long, naked, scaly tails, small eyes, and coarse, dark brown to black hair. Between 70-80 centimeters (28-32 inches) long from nose to tail, solenodons are known to become very easily agitated and may squeal or bite with little or no provocation.
The two living solenodon species are the Almiqui (Solenodon cubanus) of Cuba and the Agouta (Solenodon paradoxus) of Haiti. Both became endangered species due to predation by the mongoose, which was introduced to kill snakes, as well as cats and dogs. The Agouta is now believed to be extinct, however the same was thought of the Almiqui until a live specimen was found in 2003.