Is a Tasmanian Devil a Marsupial – Are Tasmanian Devils Marsupials

YES, Tasmanian devils are marsupials. Like kangaroos, they belong to the infraclass Marsupialia. All marsupials are mammals for they have the same characteristics as mammals do. However, unlike in mammals, marsupials also have pouch which is present in females only. In this article we are going to discuss what makes a Tasmanian devil a marsupial.

Is a Tasmanian Devil a Marsupial – Essential Characteristics of Marsupials – Tasmanian Devil Marsupial

  1. Devils have Pouch
  2. Females give birth at early stage of development
  3. Short Gestation Period
  4. Baby marsupials are called
  5. They have Three Middle Ear Bones
  6. The female has mammary glands
  7. Unlike true mammals, marsupials have relatively smaller skull
  8. Marsupials are adapted to many different habitats
is a tasmanian devil a marsupial
The female devil nursing her young. PHOTOGRAPHY anaspidesphotography-blog.com

Tasmanian Devils have Pouch

  • Like typical marsupials such as kangaroos or quolls, Tasmanian devils have pouch too.
  • All females have pouch that opens backwards.
  • The mother devil cannot supervise its young while they are inside the pouch.
  • The pouch in marsupials is generally meant to protect female’s nipples and her pups.
  • Young devils are thought to spend their first 100 days inside the pouch.

 Females Give Birth at Early Stage of Development

  • Unlike other mammals, all marsupials produce babies at very early stage of development.
  • The newborn joeys have well developed front limbs right from the birth which is why they can climb up to the mother’s nipples.
  • Female devils produce babies which crawl up to their mother’s bodies and attach to the nipples.
  • They do not fall to the ground for they are protected inside the pouch.
  • Tasmanian devil pups likely stay inside the pouch for as long as 105 days following birth.

All Marsupials including Devils have Short Gestation Period

  • Generally all marsupials have a gestation period of 28 to 35 days.
  • Devils have a gestation period of 21 days.
  • Unlike other mammals, marsupials have short gestation period.

Baby Marsupials are called Joeys

  • Another unique characteristic of marsupials is that their babies are known as
  • The baby Tasmanian devils are called imps, joeys or
  • Joeys are born blind and naked. They are highly vulnerable and rely on mother for the first six months.
  • Joeys are unable to regulate their body temperature.

They have Middle Ear Bones

  • Marsupials have three middle ear bones.
  • Marsupials are distinctive from other mammals in that they have true hair. Other mammals lack hair.

Marsupials have Smaller Skull and Teeth

  • All marsupials including devils have relatively smaller skull.
  • Unlike in placental mammals, marsupials have different number of teeth in their lower and upper jaws.

Is a Tasmanian Devil a Marsupial – video


Article Cited:

King, Anna (2001). “Discoveries about Marsupial Reproduction”. Iowa State University Biology Dept. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-22.