Tasmanian Devils are the largest living carnivorous marsupial (Dasyurid) in Australia. They have sharp powerful claws and a backward facing pouch. Each devil has distinctive white markings on their chest, which can be used like a fingerprint to identify individuals.

 

tasmanian Devil

 

(Sarcophilus harrisii)

Tasmanian Devils are the largest living carnivorous marsupial (Dasyurid) in Australia. They have sharp powerful claws and a backward facing pouch. Male devils have a head to body length of 652mm. Females are smaller, reaching only 570mm in length. Male Tasmanian Devils can weigh up to 12kg, and females up to 10kg. Each Devil has distinctive white markings on their chest, which is used like a fingerprint to identify individuals.

Habitat

More than 5000 years ago, Tasmanian Devils were common on mainland Australia. Today, they are only found in Tasmania. They are however, found in virtually every type of habitat occurring in Tasmania, including suburban fringes. As Tasmanian Devils are shy, nocturnal creatures they are rarely seen in the wild.

Diet

Tasmanian Devils often scavenge dead animals (carrion) found on roadsides. Sadly, many of them are hit by cars while feeding. Tasmanian Devils travel up to 16km in search of food. They can devour an entire prey item, bones and all! A male Tasmanian Devil is capable of consuming one quarter of its own body weight in one feeding session.

Breeding

Female Tasmanian Devils commonly raise two young at one time. Joeys live in the pouch for almost four months. Once they emerge, joey devils remain in a den for a further few months, before leaving to learn the skills required for survival.