Tasmanian Devil Facts
- Most notably, the Tasmanian Devil long ago became a symbol of aggressiveness and savage behavior. While fact often becomes mistaken for fiction, in its case this symbolism is indeed based in fact.
- It also represents a most unusual type of animal. That holds true because it classifies as a carnivorous marsupial mammal. Further, it presently ranks as the largest such species still in existence.
- Sadly, however, that may not remain true for long. It once appeared numerous throughout a wide range. However, it now exists almost exclusively in only one isolated location.
- Further, its numbers dwindled dramatically during the 19th and early 20th centuries. But, it became a protected species in 1941. Consequently, the population of the species slowly began to recover.
- But, beginning in 1996, a new, and serious threat emerged. At that time, a bizarre disease began to ravage the population. Causing severe facial tumors, it eventually prevents feeding, and leads to starvation. Due to the consequences, the IUCN now lists it as Endangered.
Tasmanian Devil Physical Description
Firstly, although the Amazing Tasmanian Devil ranks as the largest animal of its kind, its still relatively small. It does, however, display a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. In its case, males grow slightly larger than females.
Therefore, males typically develop a head-and-body length of about 25.7 in (65.2 cm). Furthermore, its tail usually averages a length of roughly 10.2 in (25.8 cm). In weight, the males of the species average 18 lb (8.16 kg).
Yet females, on the other hand, usually only reach about 22 in (57 cm) in head-and-body length. The same females also develop a tail averaging 9.6 in (24.4 cm) in length. But in weight, these only typically reach 13.2 lb (6 kg).
In both genders, the front legs usually grow somewhat longer than the rear legs. In addition, the fur usually presents mainly black. But, uneven white spots or splotches sometimes appear on the rump and chest of the mammal.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Dasyuromorphia
- Family: Dasyuridae
- Genus: Sarcophilus
- Species: S. harrisii
Tasmanian Devil Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
First of all, as the name implies, the remarkable Tasmanian Devil remains indigenous to the island of Tasmania. Though once present on the mainland of Australia, this now serves as home to all but a handful of individuals in the wild. The only others exist on a tiny island joined to it at high tide.
Within that limited range, however, it remains highly adaptable. As a result, it inhabits every type of habitat present on the island. This often even includes the outlying portions of urban areas, to its detriment.
This carnivore also evolved as both nocturnal and crepuscular in nature. Additionally, its prey sometimes includes animal as large as small kangaroos. But, it usually hunts smaller prey. Further, being opportunistic, it eats carrion more than it hunts.
Finally, its reputation for aggressive behavior is well deserved. Mainly living a solitary life, except for mating, males often fight savagely during encounters. Finally, even its mating habits have been referred to as…vigorous..