Perhaps it’s time to learn some of the most amazing and interesting Tasmanian devil facts. You’ll get to know Tasmanian devil extinction facts, diet, habitat, reproduction, behavior, and just about anything relating to the largest living carnivorous marsupial. Let’s now dig into these Tasmanian devil fun facts.
Tasmanian Devil Facts for Kids – Diet, Habitat, Extinction, Reproduction, Cancer, and Baby Tasmanian Devil Facts
Tasmanian Devil Description Facts
- The devil has a thick stocky body with the large head.
- It has tail which is half the length of its overall body.
- Tasmanian devils are all black with some white patches around their chest.
- They have longer forelegs and comparatively shorter rear legs.
- Females are relatively shorter than the males.
- Adult males measure at 25.7 inches in the head-body length with the tail estimating at 10.2 inches. The weight of a male is up to 18 pounds.
- Females have head-body length of 22 inches with the tail measuring at 9.6 inches.
- Thanks to their powerful claws which they use not only to hold prey but also to dig burrows.
Tasmanian Devil Diet Facts
Main Article: What Do Tasmanian Devils Eat
- Like wombats or quolls, Tasmanian devils are pure carnivores. They will rely almost exclusively on live as well as dead animals
- Devils are particularly attracted to the carcass although they do take on live animals.
- They use their keen sense of smell to search dead animals.
- Tasmanian devils are probably vultures of the ground in that they will consume every last piece of the meat.
- They do produce loud growling sounds particularly when there are several individuals present on a carcass site.
- Devils are most likely to feed on wombats.
Tasmanian Devil Teeth Facts
- The bite force of a Tasmanian is 553 N (56.4 kgf) which is the maximum of any extant mammal with respect to its body size.
- Devils can open their mouths 70 – 80 degrees.
- They have 42 teeth in total.
- Tasmanian devil’s teeth do not replace each other; instead they continue to grow.
Tasmanian Devil Habitat Facts
Main Article: Where Do Tasmanian Devils Live
- Devils fancy living in habitats that receive very little rainfall each year.
- They will make homes in coastal woodlands and dry sclerophyll forests.
- Tasmanian devils likely inhabit dry coastal heaths.
Behavior and Hunting Facts – Tasmanian Devil Facts
- They have excellent sense of smell. Tasmanian devils can smell carcass at 1 kilometer away.
- Unlike adults, young devils will climb up into the trees.
- They live a solitary lifestyle. Devils are mostly most active at night.
- Devils are good swimmers too. One of the individuals swam as much as 160 feet.
- They do not establish territories.
- They do bite each other or fight for the females.
- Tasmanian devils are thought to make dens in dense vegetation, tussocks, caves, or creeks.
- Devils can reach speed of 25 km/h (16 mph)
Tasmanian Devil Extinction Facts
Main Article: Why are Tasmanian Devils Endangered
- The Tasmanian devil population has been significantly declining since 1990s when the Devil Facial Tumor was first discovered.
- We do not know precisely how many devils are living in the wild.
- The population of devils was estimated at 130,000 – 150,000 in 1990s.
- The Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 listed Tasmanian devils as vulnerable species.
- Should they go extinct in the next 10 years, there is much to blame to Devil Facial Tumor.
Tasmanian Devil Reproduction Facts
- The mating season begins in April and May.
- Females become mature in the second year.
- Adult males often fight over the females. Only the dominant individual will mate with a female.
- They have a gestation period of 3 weeks after which 20 to 30 young devils are born.
- The newborn devils weigh 0.18 to 0.24 grams at birth. They will open their eyes after 100 days.
- Like kangaroos, the female has a pouch to carry babies.
- Baby Tasmanian devils are called pups, joeys, or imps.
- The joeys will spend another three months in the den.
- About 60% of the pups die before maturity.
Tasmanian Devil Population Facts
- In the 1990s the Tasmanian devil had a population of about 130,000 – 150,000.
- Conservationists claim that the devil has lost 80% of its original population since 1990s.
- Studies (in 2008) indicate that there are no more than 10,000 or possibly 15,000 devils inhabiting the wild habitat.
- Most devils have died of devil tumor cancer disease.
Top 10 Interesting Tasmanian Devil Facts for Kids
- Devils resemble black bears in appearance.
- Although they are small in size Tasmanian devils can open their mouth to 80 degrees.
- Devils are the world’s biggest carnivores with the size reaching up to 27 inches in length.
- The adult male will force the female to stay inside the den for as long as it wishes to mate. The female will probably be in male’s custody.
- They have a loud screeching sound. If you hold them with their tail they keep on growling like a child.
- When provoked, Tasmanian devils can bite.
- Over the last 20 years, devils have lost 80% of its overall population particularly due to cancer disease.
- They have short temper. Devils rarely tolerate their counterparts moving in their territory.
- Tasmanian devils live most of their lives alone except for the breeding season.
- They do not have any natural predators in the wild. Devils are at the top of their food chain.
Interesting Tasmanian Devil Facts – Video
Owen and Pemberton, p. 63.
Harris, G. P. (1807). “Description of two new Species of Didelphis from Van Diemen’s Land”. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. 9: 174–78. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1818.tb00336.x
Connellan, I (October–December 2008). “Tasmanian devils: Devil coast”. Australian Geographic. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
“Devil deaths spark renewed plea for drivers to slow down”. Save the Tasmanian Devil. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 10 December2015.
Horton, M. “Tasmanian devil – Frequently Asked Questions”. Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
Daniel Hunter; Mike Letnic. “Bringing devils back to the mainland could help wildlife conservation”. The Conversation (website). Retrieved 24 August 2015.