Habitat: Island of Tasmania.
Personality: Bad Tempered!
Sarcophilus Harrisii. You might not see any devils on the Island of Tasmania however if you listen carefully you might hear the noisy munching as they feast together in groups. As the world's largest, carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian Devil is a powerful jawed scavenger who finds everything from fur to bones tasty. Incredibly bad tempered and aggressive, the insides of their ears turn blood red when angered. Definitely an entertaining cartoon character but why would such a feisty little creature interest Expeditionary Biologist, Terry Fredeking?
The Details are in the Devil
Isolated on Tasmania for many years, the Tasmanian Devil is host to the parasite, Trichanelli Psuedospiralis, very similar to Trichanelli Spiralis. T. Spiralis makes people all over the world who eat infected undercooked meat sick. Although rarely fatal, it causes nausea, fever, abdominal pain, malaise, painful swelling of the face and body as the larva slowly invades the muscle tissue.
In an uncompromised immune system, white blood cells attack and eventually kill T. Spiralis. However, Trichanelli Psuedospiralis (found only in Tasmanian Devils) has developed a cloaking device! Sweat produced by the parasite actually camouflages Psuedospiralis from the white blood cells! How can a parasite help mankind? If this parasite's sweat can keep the host from rejecting it, could it possibly keep a transplant patient from rejecting the donated organ? Terry's team of scientists is on it!