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Tasmanian Devils 03/18/2010

Posted by allisole in Wildlife.
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I took this picture my junior year of college, when I was studying abroad in Australia.  In case you don’t know (or didn’t read the title of the post), this is a Tasmanian Devil.

So, no, they don’t look like this:

I think Tasmanian Devils are amazing.  Really, they’re just so dang cool.  First, they’re marsupials.  Marsupials are awesome– they have pouches, they give birth when the babies are ridiculously tiny and barely developed, and then these itty bitty babies (like, crazy small, no joke) CRAWL up into the mama’s pouch and latch onto a nipple, and that’s where they finish developing.  Tell me that’s not insane.

Here’s video of a kangaroo giving birth.  If you’re a total weenie, you may find it a little gross.  I think it’s awesome.

Devils are also really aggressive.  Not only do the males fight with each other for females, but the males have to fight the females too, for the right to mate with them.  They basically all just beat the crap out of each other during mating season.

One last reason to love them?  They are so damn cute.

So I obviously love me some Tasmanian devil.  Which is why is kills me when I hear about how they’re suffering, and on their way to extinction.  Not only are they being out-competed by the invasive red fox (who was introduced INTENTIONALLY to Tasmania by some jack-ass), but they’re being wiped out by a disease called devil facial tumor disease (DFTD).  It was looking like this cancer was going to be the end of the devils, but it looks like there might be some slight hope for them after all.

What’s my point?  Just that Tasmanian devils are fantastic animals.  So let’s help them if we can, and enjoy them while they’re here.

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