It's not easy being REEN

Life in Hollywierd

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cute as a devil

The only experience I have had with a Tasmanian devil has been watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. Now, after seeing one up close, I understand the cartoon version so much more.

I went all the way down under to Tasmania and I had a lovely Ozzy Androo Kelly (taz expert) tell me all about them.

This creature screams bloody murder, just as a normal way of talking. The loud screeches hurt the ears, but then I learned why they might scream so much: the female devils pretty much stay pregnant constantly, with only 6 weeks off a year--I can only hope they plan a relaxing 6 weeks on a cruise or in the Bahamas to make up for all the work they do as a mom.

The mothers can also decide how many kids she wants, by only supplying milk to the number of teats that she wants kids. So she might give birth to 30 kids, but only supply milk to 3, and then, only 3 survive. And you thought your mom was controlling.

Mom drags them around and they clutch on to the teats for dear life. I was lucky enough to hold a baby taz, but only for a moment as you do not want to upset a screaming mother tasmanian devil.

The older one I am holding has mellowed out --maybe because she is too old to have kids, and can finally relax a little.

This animal sure proves that being a mom is a real scream.


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