It is also interesting to note that fossil remains indicate the former occurrence of thylacines and Tasmanian devils on the Australian mainland.
It is significant that olive and willow should have been chosen for benediction together with, or as substitutes for palm, and that an exorcizing power should have been ascribed to the consecrated branches: they were to heal disease, ward off devils, protect the houses where they were set up against lightning and fire, and the fields where they were planted against hail and storms. But healing power had been ascribed to the olive in pagan antiquity, and in the same way the willow had from time immemorial been credited by the Teutonic peoples with the possession of protective qualities.
The scribes from Jerusalem offered a more sinister explanation, saying that He was possessed by the prince of the devils, and that this was why He was able to control all the evil spirits.
C. Thompson, Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia (London, 1903-1904); K.