The Tasmanian Devil


2008. 11. 05. 10:32

Until 1941, this black, noisy and stinky animal was hunted extensively by the human population for causing serious damage in farms. Surprisingly, it was the cattle that the devil targeted most frequently. How is it possible? Besides eating dead flesh, the marsupial devil does not only eat, but it tends even to go hunting in hordes.

Animal Planet, the TV channel, has the tradition of setting up a list of the TOP10 of a kind. Our devil came second on the TOP 10 most stinky animals list, only surpassed by the skunk. These animals are so smelly that their young start fighting in the litter, because they cannot stand each other’s stench. In addition, the way they scream makes them annoyed themselves.

(Source: MTI)

(Source: MTI)

About ten years ago an infectious disease, a tumour, started to kill the species. This cancerous tumour develops in front of their eyes and when fighting for food when eating in groups, they infect each other. This disease has killed one sixth of the devil population in Tasmania in the recent years. The Australian has government put them on the endangered species list only this year and dedicates only 1.5M AUD to the research to prevent them from total extinction.

Fortunately, one has been found to be immune to the tumour. Researchers are already investigating the immune mechanism of this animal to find the vaccine against the fatal threat.


  • widespread – (széles körben) elterjedt
  • settlers – bevándorlók, le/betelepülők
  • stinky – büdös, szagos
  • extensively – rendkívüli módon
  • marsupial – erszényes
  • skunk – borz
  • to surpass – felülmúl
  • infants – utódok
  • infectious – fertőző
  • species – faj
  • endangered – veszélyeztetett
  • extinction – kihalás
  • to investigate – (ki/meg)vizsgál


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