I’m a big fan of the Duke Women’s Basketball team, and as I watched those Blue Devils put away Georgia Tech on Sunday in Cameron, I was thinking of a devil of another sort. I was reading about the plight of the Tasmanian devil (a marsupial like our Virginia Opossum Beaker) in the paper Sunday morning and how a contagious facial cancer has greatly accelerated this endangered species towards extinction.
(Picture from University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web)
Real Tasmanian devils look much more ferocious than the Loony Tunes version (but not quite as ferocious as an Abby Waner thread the needle pass) and they are ecologically critical to Tasmania’s ecosystem.
Volunteer Annie has an especially soft spot for all creatures Australian, so I often think of her when I see pics of this carnivore and hope scientists and a conservation program set up by the Tasmanian government can figure out how to best stop the spread of the cancer.