Interesting facts about the Tasmanian devil

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We found 16 interesting facts about the Tasmanian devil

Sarcophile Harrisii

They once inhabited the Australian continent, but for inexplicable reasons they disappeared from there about three thousand years ago. Today they can only be found in Tasmania.

Although the species was attacked by a viral cancer a few years ago that decimated the Tasmanian devil population, today the situation has returned to normal. It is estimated that between 20 and 50 to XNUMX adults are still alive, which is significant, but the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Tasmanian devils as an endangered species.


The Tasmanian devil belongs to the family Dasidae.

Includes 69 species, of which the only representative of the genus Sarcophilus is the Tasmanian devil. It is the largest living carnivorous marsupial.

Males are larger than females.

The male is about 90 cm long and weighs 8 kg, while females are on average 81 cm tall and weigh 6 kg.

Their fur is black with uneven white spots on the chest.

However, not all Tasmanian devils have a white accent, with 16% of the population being entirely black.

They live only in Tasmania and Robbins Island, where there is a passage from Tasmania at low tide.

In the Pleistocene, Tasmanian devils still lived in Australia, but they became extinct about 3000 years ago, and the reasons for their extinction on the continent are still unknown. It is assumed that dingoes that came to Australia between 8 and 6,5 thousand years ago could have contributed to their disappearance. many years ago.

Their bite force relative to body weight is one of the highest among all terrestrial predators.

The jaws open between 75° and 80°, and their clamping force exceeds 550 N. In terms of BFQ (Bite Force Quotient), they are superior to the tiger, lion, leopard or brown bear.

Although there are no recorded cases of Tasmanian devils attacking humans, they are capable of attacking animals larger than themselves.

When attacking, they scratch and bite their prey. They can attack prey up to 3,5 times larger; cases of hunting wombats weighing up to 30 kg are known.

They are active at dusk and at night.

They then go out to feed, looking for both live prey and carrion. They often eat in groups of 2 to 5 individuals. They spend their days in bushes or burrows.

They use many senses to hunt, but the most important is hearing.

To detect prey, they use their sense of smell, which can detect odors at a distance of one kilometer. Their vision is adapted to being nocturnal, so they see best in black and white and find moving objects easier than stationary ones.

It happens that adult devils eat younger representatives of their species.

Typically, acts of cannibalism occur when there is a shortage of food. This is probably why young individuals have developed the ability to climb trees and bushes, which they lose with age.

Tasmanian devils are capable of devouring their prey whole.

They leave neither fur nor skin behind, making them excellent carrion collectors. In larger animals, they usually begin their meal with the stomach, intestines and their contents, and after eating them they can penetrate the site of these organs and begin to eat the carcass from the inside.

Tasmanian devils are good swimmers.

In this way, they can cross rivers up to 50 m wide. Observations show that such bathing gives them pleasure even when the water is very cold.

Tasmanian devils prefer burrows for shelter. Most often they use those from wombats.

Each individual has several burrows that it uses. They are also passed down from generation to generation, so one hole can harbor dozens of generations of devils over hundreds of years.

They may also make their lairs in human structures, usually abandoned or rarely visited wooden sheds and sheds.

When setting up such a lair, they often steal blankets, pillows or clothes from populated areas, which they take to their new “abodes”.

Their pregnancy lasts 21 days. After this time, from 20 to 30 cubs are born.

Newborn Tasmanian devils weigh from 0,18 to 0,24 g. Competition among these animals lasts from the first seconds of life. After birth, they must pass from the vagina into the female's brood pouch and attach to the nipple. Unfortunately, the female has only four of them, and she can feed the same number of cubs. Once the newborn Tasmanian devil reaches its breeding pouch, it attaches to the nipple and remains there for the next 100 days.

Only about 40% of puppies reach adulthood.

Young devils reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years.

The lifespan of Tasmanian devils in the wild is about 5 years.

In captivity they can live up to 7 years.

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