Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Devils in Peril...

Little Sarcophilus harrisii cannot be mistaken for any other marsupial. Its spine-chilling screeches, black color, and reputed bad-temper, led the early European settlers to call it the Tasmanian Devil. Although only the size of a small dog, it can sound and look incredibly fierce. They have the biting power of a dog about three times their own weight. Sadly the devils are threatened by the bizarre and distressing Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), which appears to be a contagious viral cancer - only one of three such cancers known. Tumours grow around the animals' faces, making it impossible for them feed; they starve to death.

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