Monday, January 02, 2006

Tasmanian Devil

We only saw one Tasmanian Devil the entire time we were in Tasmania. That turned out to be disappointing because after I got this photo I realized that it was actually Tracie Doing an impression of a tasmanian devil.

The tasmanian devil population is being attacked by a terrible disease that starts attacking their faces and eventually their whole body if they don't starve to death first.

Devil Facial Tumour Disease
is a term used to describe a fatal condition in Tasmanian devils which is characterised by the appearance of obvious facial cancers. The tumours or cancers are first noticed in and around the mouth as small lesions or lumps. These develop into large tumours around the face and neck and sometimes even in other parts of the body. Adults appear to be most affected by the disease - males the first affected, then females. Badly affected devils may have many cancers throughout the body.

As the cancers develop in affected devils, they may become emaciated, particularly if the tumours interfere with teeth and feeding. Many females lose their young. Affected animals appear to die within six months of the lesions first appearing.

-Gary Milner

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