During European settlement in Australia, Tasmanian devils and tigers were trapped in for money to lessen the population. 100 years went by of devils and tigers being poisoned and trapped. This dwindled down the population drastically. Now, the population continues to lessen because of a widespread disease to the Tasmanian devil.
The Devils tend to be temperamental, and therefore living alone most of their lives. When threatened, the Devil will growl, show teeth, and lunge at the animal.
Devils are 2 or 3 feet, or 50 to 80 cm long and weigh approximately 10 to 30 lbs, or 4 to 12 kg.
Tasmanian Devils eat all parts of dead animals, including hair, organs, muscle tissue, and bones. They tend to eat carcasses of birds, snakes, fish, and insects. This makes them the largest marsupial carnivore.
They are nocturnal animals, sleeping during the day. At night, they will travel miles to find their prey.
Tasmanian Devils are named after where they live: the Australian island of Tasmania.
Predators and Survival
Devils are excellent climbers, which helps them escape from predators. Large birds like eagles and owls are the main predators to the devils. For defense, the Tasmanian Devil has a very strong bite. They are known for having the strongest bite of all animals.
The devils live for about 5 to 8 years and are mature at 2 years.
Tasmanian Devils mate once every year in March. Gestation period lasts roughly 21 days. Baby devils, known as “imps” are born underdeveloped, the size of rice. There are several imps that will compete for 1 of the mothers’ 4 teats in her pouch, however those select 4 that don’t get to her teat will die of malnutrition. The imp is fully grown within 9 months.
Species Survival Status
According to the IUCN Red List, the Tasmanian devil is listed as Endangered.
Fast Fun Facts
- Tasmanian Devils store extra fat in their tails.
- Devils will yawn at their predators to make them appear unthreatened.
- The population of these mammals continues to dwindle when infected with Devil Facial Tumor Disease. This disease causes massive growths on their face, which makes the disease easy to spread.