Tasmanian Devil Facts

There are some interesting Tasmanian devil facts.

Australia’s largest and most famous carnivorous marsupial is, as its name says, only found in Tasmania.

But it’s not quite a devil, despite its massive jaws, and the reputation of killing stock. In fact, the Tassie devils are not very good hunters at all, and when it comes to animals larger than themselves, they are often forced to scavenging.

Tasmanian Devil Facts: What Do They Eat
The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a 600mm long, black animal with a white streak across the chest, a stocky body, broad head and strong jaws, weighting up to 9kg. It eats possums, wombats and kangaroos, but often only their carcasses because it’s got trouble to catch anything bigger than rats.

Tasmanian Devil, Sarcophilus Harrisii, in Captivity, Australia, Pacific
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Myths about the Tasmanian Devil
It is known for aggressive group feedings where about 20 animals snarl and shove as they compete for the best body parts. But these feedings are rare and Tasmanian devil is in fact a solitary and shy animal. It forages from dusk to dawn and retreats in burrows during the day.  

Tasmanian Devils, Tasmania, Australia
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Tasmanian Devil Facts: When Do They Reproduce?
Its breeding season is in March and several young are born a month later, only few of which survive because the female has only got four nipples (this is also the case in other dasyurids like quolls). The young remain in their mother’s pouch for 15 weeks and after that they are left in den. By October they start following their mother, and by January they start getting around on their own – a dangerous time for them, but the best time for us to see them, because they are too inexperienced to be scared.

Habitat and the Disease
They were once common in mainland Australia, but like some other vulnerable Australian animals, disappeared since the introduction of exotic predators such as red foxes and dingoes. Luckily these animals are not found in Tasmania. Tasmanian devils were also hunted before they got protected in 1941. Since 1995, lymphatic cancer has wiped out a third of their total population. We can only hope the devils won’t follow Tasmanian Tigers' way to extinction, but the species status is today considered secure.
Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus Ursinus) a Carnivorous Marsupial Found Only in Tasmania
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Where to See Them in Australia
Good places to see them are Freycinet National Park, Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park and Mt William National park, all in Tasmania. If you like to get close to these cute animals, on the way to Port Arthur is Tasmanian Devil Park. In case you are not in Tasmania, you can see them in Melbourne Zoo, Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast and Billabong Sanctuary south of Townsville.

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