back to article Tasmanian devil whirling onto endangered list

The luckless Tasmanian devil is to be added to the official list of endangered species in a move intended to save it from extinction, The Times reports. Tasmania's top carnivore since the human-assisted wipeout of the thylacine in the 1930s is under severe threat from a communicable face cancer, unique to the species. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    They bin


    When does I gets me wallaby

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Do I win a prize?

  3. SkippyBing Silver badge


    Do I win a wallaby?

  4. Rowan Moore
    Thumb Up


    It should be me.

  5. Jimmy Floyd

    Is it "dived?" :-)

    "...we must take issue with the insistence of the Times..."

    The Times is now merely The Sun with slightly longer words and fewer breasts (mostly). That's what you get when you sell to Rupert Murdoch. IS NOTHING SACRED?!

    Mine's the one with a copy of the FT.

  6. Anonymous John


    A pint of John Smiths, please.

  7. Mike


    Means every 10th was killed (although common usage really means a significant proportion; language changes over time so the original literal meaning isn't it's only meaning any more).

    Technically when the population dropped from 100% to 90% it was decimated, then when it dropped from 90% to 81% it was decimated again, then from 81% to 73% it was decimated a third time, then from 73% to 65%, 59%, etc. etc. until you hit 30%

    So the population HAS been decimated (at least eleven times).

    What's that?

    it's a Wallaby* in a box.

    What are you going to do with it?

    I'm going to f..k it and eat it.

    *It was a fox in the orginal comic strip in Viz - rhymes with "box"

  8. JimC


    A scrub wallaby would be nice:-)

  9. Dave Morris


    septuaginated is my guess as to the correct spelling, though I'm no latin whiz...

  10. Dave Wallace


    Percentage decline is one tenth - 90% remaining.

  11. Jon


    when searching for a word that means "to reduce by 70%", we often think of the word "decimate", which means "to eliminate every 10th" in its original form, as it was a Roman concept. The prefix "deci" is most commonly defined today by the SI units, where it is a prefix meaning 1/10th. Strictly speaking, there are no prefixes other than a power of 10, so there is no way to express "to reduce by 70%" in strictly modern language terms.

    however, decimate is an old roman term, with "deci" from the latin "decimus". Therefore, if we can find a roman naming system to express 70, we can properly express the term "to reduce by 70%".

    Source: -

    Romans used the word "septem" to convey seven, as they used "decem" to convey ten. So, we might reasonably express the prefix 70 as "septideci". But even this is probably insufficient for the problem at hand. Does "septidecimate" refer to destroying 70 out of 100, or rather one out of 70? Since decimate means to destroy one out "deci" or ten, it is most likely the latter, and we have not yet found a word to express "to reduce by 70%".

    What we require is two or more numbers that could multiply to reach 7/10. This can be expressed as:

    7/10 = (n-1)/n * (m-1)/m * ...

    It so happens that 1/4th and 1/15th fit the bill. If you reduce a population successively by 1/5th and 1/8th, you will end up with a remainder of 4/5 * 7/8 = 7/10. The roman for 1/5th is "quinque", and the roman for 1/8th is "sescuncia". Therefore the word "quinqui-sescuncimate" should be the one you are looking for. Can I have my wombat now?

  12. Jon

    p.s. quinqui-sescuncimate

    Oh and the number pairs 4 and 15, and 5 and 8 work equally well, it is just harder to find a proper word for 15 in roman.

  13. Jon

    oops... semitridecimate

    Messed up; quinqui-sescuncimate refers to reducing TO 70%, not BY 70%. Adjusting for my error, it requires three prefixes in sequence to reach the proper word, 1/3rd, 1/2, and 1/10th fit the bill quite nicely. So we have "semis" + "triens" + "decems" or my best guess is "semitridecimate"

  14. Peter Lawler


    That's the single word to describe the local population. FUCKED.

    Now give me my Bennett's wallaby (preferably one of the ones NOT from my back yard as that's just cheating) while I possum stomp some nointer's head with my Blunnies.

  15. Walking Turtle


    For that extraordinary bit of self-correcting Latin Numeric Research, Jon, THREE Wallabies.

    *And* a Wombat! :)

    (JK izzat YOU?) :)

  16. b

    word nerds!

    here's hopin' the tasmanian devil recovers..

  17. Anonymous Coward

    I already thought ...

    That these poor creatures WERE already on the endangered species list and were -- well -- destined for complete extinction _very_ soon.

    I hope not. But it does seem very likely from what I've read on the subject over the past few years,

  18. TheOtherMe

    Which Wallaby

    So how did you manage to steal one of our players from the ARU*? And if this were a Sarth Efrican story would be giving away springboks?

    I think is just a clever ploy to undermine our great Rugby team and give your own hapless team a chance of winning... (yeah, yeah I know you won a World Cup a few years back, but hey we have to let win sometimes).

    *Australian Rugby Union - for those non-believers who don't know squat about the game they play in heaven.

  19. Neoc

    Proper term:

    They been "Dodo'd".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    gorilla introduction program

    Surely introducing another great ape to the Australain sub-continent would threaten the native Yowie?

    Seriously, Devils Facial Tumour disease is horrible and I believe their one slim chance of surviving the epidemic is a small, genetically distinct population in one part of the island, but if that groups survives then the future generations descended from it would be even more in-bred and even more vulnerable to disease.

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