Tasmanian Devil Teeth – How Many Teeth Does a Tasmanian Devil have

The Tasmanian devil teeth are typical of carnivores. Like dogs, devils have prominent canines and other cheek teeth. Thanks to their sharp teeth devils can slice the meat and crush bones pretty easily. Tasmanian devils have the most powerful bite of any mammal given the size of its body. They can open their jaws 75 – 80 degrees. Let us see some other Tasmanian devil teeth facts.

Tasmanian Devil Teeth Facts – How Many Teeth Does a Tasmanian Devil have

  • Tasmanian devils have 42 teeth but these are not replaced after birth. They continue to grow all throughout the devil’s life and the growth is gradual. Dogs do replace their teeth.
  • They can exert a force of 553 N (56.4 kgf). Thanks to its large head and big jaw-opening, Tasmanian devils can tear apart any meat including the hardest of the bones.
  • The crushing force of devils resembles hyena’s force to crush meat.
  • Tasmanian devils have four pairs of upper incisors and three pairs of lower incisors.
  • They can crush a metal wire with their powerful teeth.
  • Unlike kangaroos, devils do not have any deciduous teeth.
  • Devils will consume just about anything from animal’s muscles, organs, bones, flesh, and hair.

Tasmanian Devil Teeth Anatomy

  • The upper two incisors of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) erupt right after it stops suckling in 200 days.
  • The devil’s canines begin to grow soon after its molar teeth erupt.
  • The devil’s age is also determined by looking at the status of its teeth.
  • Tasmanian devil has a dental formula of 4/3: 1/1: 2/2: 4/4.
  • Thomas in his detailed study of 1867 showed that the largest incisor tooth is the first incisor. Compared to other incisors, the biggest incisor has also very slow growth.
tasmanian devil teeth
Sequence of eruption of the teeth in SarcophiZus harrisii in relation to weight,
shank length and age., The lower curve shows the weight.

How Do Tasmanian Devil Teeth Grow

  • The incisor teeth continue to grow 0.05 cm every 20 days until they reach the normal size.
  • The size of every tooth is different from the other.
  • Some of the teeth grow at a rapid rate than others.
  • The premolars are thought to grow at the same rate as incisors.
  • The canine teeth, perhaps understandably, erupt more quickly than any other teeth. They grow 0.45 cm every 20 days.

Tasmanian Devil Teeth – Video


Article Cited:

Flower,W.H., 1867: On the development and succession of the teeth in the Marsupialia. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B.~ 631-42.

Sadleir, R.M.F.S., 1961: Fertility studies of macropods with special reference to the Euro, Macropus robustus Gould, and the marloo, M. rufus Desmarest, in the dry north west of. Western Australia. Ph.D. thesis, Western Australia. (Unpublished).

Wilson, J.J. &Hill, J.P., 1897: Observations upon the development and succession of the teeth in Perameles. Quart. J. Micr. Sci.~ 39, 427-588.

Bensley, B.A., 1903: On the evolution of the Australian Marsupialia with remarks on the relationships of the marsupials in general. Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool.~ (2),2., 83-217.

Sharman, G.B., Frith, H. &Calaby, J. 1964: Growth of the poucn young, LOOLn erupLlOIl and age determination in the red kangaroo, Megaleia rufa. C.S.I.R.O. Wildl. Res. 2., 20-49.