Sympathy for the Devil

From inside the hessian sack comes a low growl. Wildlife biologist Nick Mooney reaches in and carefully pulls out a Tasmanian devil, the largest carnivorous marsupial, a halo of stiff whiskers framing bright brown eyes and rich, dark fur; an open mouth revealing sharp teeth. Tasmania is famed as much for its creatures as its landscapes, and chief in this unique menagerie is the devil, reportedly so named by early settlers, who were rattled by its ferocity and the ungodly sounds of its squabbles over food. Few ever get this close to the stocky, dog-like creature, which scavenges by night, cleaning...

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