About the Tasmanian Devil
Australia's smallest state is home to a big wildlife
superstar - the country's coolest, and some might say crankiest marsupial,
the Tasmanian devil.
Many years ago, about 600 or
so, Tasmanian devils also lived in mainland Australia. Now, due to hunting
and animal predators, they are only found in a few pockets of the Apple
The Tasmanian devil's
scientific name is Sarcophilus
Sarcophilus means flesh lover,
a suitably suitable name for this ravenous carnivore.
Harrisii comes from the person
who first described these animals . . . Mr Harris!
So what is life like when you are a Tasmanian
You've got dark fur with a white stripe . . . which sort of
sounds like a skunk. However, unlike skunks, Tasmanian devils have got a bit of an attitude, or so it
They have a pretty ferocious sounding growl and coughing noise
which they often make when feeding at night.
In fact, they sound so cranky and crazy, that early settlers
thought they sounded like a devil, hence their common name.
Tasmanian devils are pretty serious about their food. They are
known as mini-vacuum cleaners because of the way they eat anything and leave nothing behind.
And here is a word of warning: You should never
disturb a Tasmanian devil when it is eating. Why? Because getting between
this marsupial and his meat will result in one very cranky critter.
And if the growling and cranky behavior doesn't help you to see
you've upset one of these guys, check out their ears.
Tasmanian devils usually have pink ears. But, make them angry and
they don't see red - they hear it as their pink ears turn red. Like other
marsupials, Tasmanian devils have a pouch where their young stay safe. The body is up to 80 cm long, and it weighs
about 4-12 kgs.
Additionally, their tail measure a bit less than 30 cm. The
front legs are longer than its hind legs, which is unusual among
They have broad necks and short legs ending in sharp
The tassie devil is powerfully built and has powerful jaws
and well developed teeth that can crush the bones of animals it eats.
The devils are not territorial
and they spend most of their time alone.
Sadly, these animals are in a
bit of trouble. Many are killed by cars and for the past few years, they have
also been struck down by a horrible disease called devil facial tumor
This type of cancer is quickly killing the species who now need
help from us to ensure their survival - Read more about Tasmanian Devil