Cartoon character's real-life counterpart may offer clues to human and other animal diseases. Scientist Andrew Storfer checks a Tasmanian devil for signs of devil tumor facial disease. Taz, was his name, the Tasmanian devil of Warner Bros. A scrappy omnivore who ate anything and everything, he spun in a vortex and bit through everything in his path.
Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) — Transmissible Cancer Group
New findings in research funded by Morris Animal Foundation offer valuable insight on how to fight devil facial tumor disease DFTD that has resulted in a catastrophic decline in wild Tasmanian devils. Researchers have shed light on how the tumors successfully evade the immune system, which may offer possible strategies to protect the endangered devils from this devastating disease. Andy Flies, a Morris Animal Foundation-funded researcher and one of the study's authors. Devil facial tumor disease DFTD was discovered in and kills nearly every devil it infects, with some experts estimating a decrease of 90 percent or more in wild devil populations. One of just three known contagious cancers the other two are a transmissible venereal tumor in dogs and a water-borne leukemia in soft-shell clams , researchers believe DFTD is transferred between individuals through biting behaviors.
Share animal photographs or incredible animal facts. The Tasmanian Devil is a small dog-like marsupial that inhabits the Australian forests. The stocky and muscular carnivore gets its name from the island state of Tasmania, where it is commonly found. It is now officially recognized as the world's largest marsupial, after the extinct Thylacine. It is characterized by a jet black fur and its loud screeching cry that is very eerie.
Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with an honors degree in biology. She loves to study nature and write about animals and plants. The Tasmanian devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world.
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