There are three species of Tasmanian Devils

At least.

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32 Responses to There are three species of Tasmanian Devils

  1. retona says:

    There’s only one devil — the Tasmanian Devil

  2. dearieme says:

    My favourite writer on landscape history remarked that “Australia is another planet”. That’s a great figurative truth. Anyone who has never visited really should.

  3. Garr says:

    Does it seem correct to say that modern human beings are to Homo Erectus (or Ergaster or whatever) as dogs are to wolves — the neotenous form thereof (sexually mature adult-sized children)? (I suppose that the analogy Us:Erectus::Dogs:Wolves requires that we be as able to produce fertile offspring with Erectuses as Dogs are with Wolves?)

    • Caradoc says:

      Yes. The anatomical traits of the modern human skull demonstrate neoteny and self-domestication. This must have meant profound behavioural shifts: a’piths did not have the beetle brows of Homo erectus or neanderthals, so big brows appeared for a reason. And then were lost, probably because they look intimidating to females and infants. This was hardly a linear descent of man.

  4. crew says:

    The Devil that knows the Devil best is the Devil itself!

  5. benespen says:

    What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?

  6. Hesse Kassel says:

    Two different asexually breeding transmissable cancers?

    In that case it is a bit debatable if they are separate species or not. Calling them Tasmanian devils is a bit of a stretch too.

    • gcochran9 says:

      clearly both cancers have recent common ancestry with conventional Tasmanian devils. Just as clearly, they can no longer exchange genetic material with any other species. Do the family tree: three closely related species, the two cancers descending from the conventional furry species.

      • Hesse Kassel says:

        All exclusively asexual creatures can no longer exchange genetic material with any other creature. In that case similarities in genotype and phenotype are what count? How similar are they?

    • Smithie says:

      It’s a fun stretch.

      What I always thought was bizarre was the classification of certain bacteria. There are species which are mostly harmless, maybe even beneficial. Some strains of the same species can kill you. Basically, the difference between a lion and a rabbit. Maybe, a greater difference, if you keep a garden.

  7. Tom says:

    OT: In the acknowledgement section of ‘The 10,000 Year Explosion’ you credit Balaji Srinivasan of Stanford, was that Balaji S. Srinivasan, or, Balaji K. Srinivasan? (Or another Balaji Srinivasan of Stanford I’m unaware of!)

  8. Caradoc says:

    Could transmissable cancers become an effective bioweapon, either against a specific ethnic group or a pest species?

  9. MEH 0910 says:

    Are HeLa cells another species of Homo sapiens?

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