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The Tasmanian Devil is the closest living relative to the Thylacine. When the last Thylacine died in 1936, the Tasmanian Devil replaced it as top predator. But, to me, the Tasmanian Devil is basically a marsupial on crack. The Tasmanian Devil is famous for its short temper, just like my sister, and its ferocity when eating. Usually, it eats carrion, but it will occasionally make their own kills. The Tasmanian Devil can take down prey the size of a wallaby. But the Tasmanian Devil's future could be like that of the Thylacine. The Tasmanian Devil is often blamed by farmers for killing sheep, just like the Thylacine. The species was protected by law in 1941, but the population is still declining because of a disease called devil facial tumour disease. The disease is not only contagious, but very deadly since there are barely any cure. This could be bad news since the Tasmanian Devil is the apex predator of the island and the survival of an ecosytem depends on apex predators to kill the sick, the old, the weak, and the injured. I think the devil facial tumour disease could the result of inbreeding. The island of Madagascar and Majungatholus inbreeding was bad, but the island of Tasmania is pretty much a speck of dust in comparision. The tiny area, plus human development, pushes Tasmanian Devils in limited space. Inbreeding, like I told you in the Majungatholus page, can create less of a tolerence for disease. Tasmanian Devils are not really handling this devil facial tumour disease well and inbreeding could then be the explaination. I'm not the only one who thinks that. Recent reseach in the University of Sydney shows most of the devils have the exact same genes. This is a trait of inbreeding. Plus, like Majungatholus, the devil population is very small, so this actually makes sense.

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