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Posts Tagged "Tasmanian devil"

Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Tasmanian Devil

tassie sq

And now the world’s cutest Tasmanian devil, who nonetheless is obviously bloody from battle. Because it’s been that kind of week. Some more details about Tassies… Species name: Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) Where found: Tasmania, an island state of Australia IUCN Red List status: Endangered (although that was the 2008 assessment; things have gotten worse [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Updates from the Brink: Dying Devils, Disappearing Vultures and a $473,000 Fish

When I last wrote about Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) this past December, the species was in pretty dire straits. A contagious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) had, at that point, wiped out at least 70 percent of devils in the wild, forcing scientists to resort to captive breeding, a sperm bank and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Platypus Populations on Small Australian Islands Show Lack of Genetic Diversity, High Risk of Disease

Last year we learned that climate change could soon make Australia too hot for the cold-loving, iconic platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Now we have word of a new threat to these unique, egg-laying mammals: inbreeding, which has put the platypuses living on two small Australian islands at enhanced risk of disease. According to research published March [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sperm Bank and Reproductive Research Could Help Save Tasmanian Devils from Extinction

Tasmanian devil

A diseased and emaciated Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was found last week on a golf course in the town of Zeehan on Tasmania’s west coast. Like many of its kind, the animal suffered from the deadly, transmittable cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which has wiped out at least 70 percent and possibly [...]

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Extinction Countdown

News from the Brink: Good News for Tasmanian Devils, Puerto Rican Parrots and Southern Right Whales

Not every story about endangered species is horrible. Sometimes there’s some good news mixed in with the bad. Although none of these stories is worth dancing in the streets over, each nonetheless merits at least a little bit of celebration. Tasmanian devil DNA Scientist from Penn State University and other institutions have completed sequencing the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Has an infectious cancer doomed Tasmanian devils to extinction?

Tasmanian Devil Facial Cancer

Are Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) doomed to extinction in the wild? The infectious cancer known as devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) has killed off as much as 90 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils since it was first observed in 1996 (up from 70 percent when we last wrote about the species nine months ago). [...]

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Extinction Countdown

“Glimmer of hope”: A Tasmanian devil colony displays possible immunity to deadly facial tumor disease

Tasmanian devil with devil facial tumor disease

Nearly 70 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have been killed in the past 10 years by an infectious cancer called devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). So far, no cure has been found, and the disease has spread to almost every corner of the remote island off the southeastern coast of Australia, the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Genetic analysis reveals parasitic origin of contagious cancer devastating Tasmanian devils

Tasmanian devil infected with devil tumor facial disease

The deadly, contagious cancer that puts Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) at risk of extinction may have originated in another species, according to research published Thursday in the journal Science. The cancer, known as devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), has wiped out nearly 70 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils in the past 10 years. Once [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Tree rats and wallabies and dingoes, oh my: Updates on Oz’s endangered species

It’s been a busy week — full of both good news and bad — for Australia’s endangered species. One of the country’s most endangered mammals, the Victorian brush-tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) now has a chance at survival thanks to an innovative breeding program at Adelaide Zoo. The process takes days-old joeys and transfers them [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New test creates hope for cancer-plagued Tasmanian devils

Nearly 70 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have been wiped out in the past 10 years by a contagious cancer known as devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). Now a new test could help determine which devils are carrying the disease before symptoms show up, enabling conservationists to move cancer-free creatures to quarantined [...]

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Observations

Contagious Cancer: Genome Study Reveals How Tasmanian Devil Cancer Has Spread

tasmanian devil

A killer cancer that is threatening to wipe Tasmanian devils off the map for good has been spreading—from an original infected female 15 years ago—via live cancer cells, according to evidence from genome sequences of the cancer and the animal, published online Thursday in Cell. Finding out how this happened could help save this species [...]

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Observations

SA Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina Teaches Viewers about ‘Taz’

A pilot episode of It Ain’t Rocket Science, an original, family-friendly television show that Time Warner Cable has created as part of its Connect a Million Minds venture, aired June 24 on NY1. The program shares information about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics, aiming to cultivate a love of science in children through [...]

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Observations

Sequencing of Tasmanian Devil Genome Suggests New Attack on Contagious Cancer, Clues for Conservation

Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have been besieged by a highly contagious cancer that has been pushing the species ever-closer to extinction. In the past 15 years, Devil Facial Tumor Disease has spread throughout Australia’s Tasmania island, killing most Tasmanian devils that catch it. In an effort to help save the biggest living carnivorous marsupial, conservationists [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The Best Animal Stories of 2013

Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby

By Jason G. Goldman and Matt Soniak It should come as no surprise that we humans can be a bit confused when it comes to our relationship with other animals. We live in a society that is at once captivated by the National Zoo’s panda-cam and repulsed by the story of killer whale capture told [...]

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