Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) isn’t only a mammal, it’s a marsupial mammal. The two-foot long devil possesses all the required characteristics of a mammal. It gives birth to live young; the female has mammary glands and they nurse live young with milk.
Is a Tasmanian Devil a Mammal? – What Makes Devil a Mammal?
Devil Produces Live Young
One of the primary characteristics of mammals is that unlike reptiles or birds, mammals give birth to live young. The female mammal has mammary glands too. Likewise Tasmanian devil produces 20 to 30 live young and the female nurses its young with milk. Therefore, the devil qualifies as a mammal.
Devil has Hair
Devils possess black hair or fur which is yet another significant mammalian feature. Birds possess feathers not hairs so they are different from mammals. Tasmanian devils also display certain type of specialized hairs known as vibrissae which is typical of mammals. All mammals have vibrissae present on their facial region.
Tasmanian Devil has Four Legs
Mammals walk on four legs each of which consists of five toes. This is the characteristic attribute of all terrestrial vertebrates. Needless to say, devils have four legs and they also have five toes out of which four toes are attached to the front.
It has Mammary Glands
The female devil nurses its newborn pups and milk them in the first 100 days. Unlike most other mammals, the female devil has a pouch which is what makes devil a marsupial mammal.
Excellent Sense of Smell
Mammals are thought to construct most of their spatial information using olfactory or acoustic. They can also see things quite clearly at night which is why many mammals are nocturnal. Tasmanian devil uses its acute sense of smell to detect carrion as far a distance as 1 kilometer away from the source. Devils become active at night.