Tasmanian devil is the also known as sarcophilus harrisii , a carnivorous marsupial. They belong to the same family as native ‘cats’ which is Dasyuridae. It is about 65 centimeter or 2.1 feet in length with a sharp teeth and strong, muscular jaws and one of the most powerful bites of any mammal. It weighs up to 26 pounds or 12 kilograms, size will vary depending on its range and availability of food. It’s a night creature, meat eater, and hostile when cornered. It also lives in remote areas of Tasmania.
Tasmanian devils are wild when threatened by a predator, fighting with enemies, or when eating. Early Europians called it ‘devil’ after seeing those activities. These mammals have a coat of brown or black fur that gives them the look-a-like appearance of a baby bear with white patches on the chest and hind parts. They have long front legs and shorter rear legs, some say it’s a pig-like structure.
Tasmanian devils are carnivorous. They can eat snakes, birds, fish and insects. They prefer carrion or dead meat. Like other marsupials, when they are full, their tails swell.
Tasmanian devils are nocturnal or awake at night. They spend their sunny days in logs, caves, or burrows and appearing at night to eat. They also use their long whiskers and sense of smell and sight to avoid possible threats when searching for their food. They eat anything that they can get their teeth into including hairs, organs, and bones.
Tasmanian devils give birth after three weeks of pregnancy. It can gave birth to up to 20 or 30 very tiny young Tasmanian devils. They look like raisins crawling up the mother’s fur pouch. But the mother has only four nipples, some babies sadly will not survive in most cases. Infant Tasmanian devils develop after four months and generally halt to the mother by the sixth month and are on their own by the eighth month.
Tasmanian devils are indigenous mammals from the island of Tasmania. Their Tasmanian range encloses the whole island, they live in the coastal scrublands and forests. Research studies have said that the extinction level of Tasmanian devil is connectible to the establishment of Asian dogs or dingoes.
In 1941, the government made Tasmanian devils a protected species and their numbers grown steadily. A calamitous illness discovered in the mid-1990’s has killed ten thousands of Tasmanian devils. The disease called, devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), it is rapidly spreading contagious cancer that causes large lumps to form around the animal’s mouth and head, making it hard for the Tasmanian devil to eat. The mammal starves to death. Animal health experts are segregating populations where the illness has not yet emerged and are concentrating on captive breeding programs to save the Tasmanian devils from extinction. The Australian government has listed Tasmanian devils as vulnerable because of that epidemic.
There are restrictions in exporting Tasmanian devils outside Australia. But the Tasmanian Government gave a pair of devils to the Copenhagen Zoo in October 2005. These are the only devils that can gaze outside of Australia.
– Tasmanian Devil Printout – EnchantedLearning.com
Article Resource: Ronald Uy