Tassie devils are notorious scavengers, eating everything from echidnas to stranded whales. Understanding how their teeth wear down can help us feed and protect captive populations.
Ten years ago, we feared Tasmanian devils would be wiped out by a bizarre infectious facial cancer transmitted by biting. But new genetic analysis shows they are evolving to live with the disease.
The cutting-edge tools could greatly expand our understanding of different species’ immune systems, and also help humans prepare for future disease outbreaks.
Both male and female Tasmanian devils can become very violent during sexual interactions.
Tasmanian Devils can be incredibly aggressive during mating season and their biting can have fatal consequences.
Aggressive behaviour exhibited by socially dominant Tasmanian devils may predispose them to infection with devil facial tumour disease.
Sebastien Compte/University of Tasmania
It’s the Tasmanian devils that enjoy the highest survival and breeding success who’re more likely to get the fatal facial tumour disease.
The deadly facial tumour can hide itself from the Tasmanian devil’s immune system.
The facial tumour cells that threaten the Tasmanian devils may use a sort of molecular shield to protect them from the animal’s immune system.
Devils released back onto the Tasmanian mainland in the next step to fight the deadly DFTD disease.
Wildlife Management Branch, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
Some animals bred in captivity often lack the skills needed to survive in the wild. But the Tasmanian devil is showing it’s a natural born killer.
A healthy devil.
New research suggests devils are evolving rapidly in response to their highly lethal transmissible cancer, and that the devils could save themselves.
Tassie devils in the wild are prone to the transmissible cancer.
On Monday this week The Conversation published a story under the headline “What’s killing Tassie devils if it isn’t contagious cancer?” The article suggested evidence that the Tasmanian devil facial tumour…
A new discovery in the race to cure the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease has given scientists hope of developing a vaccine…