Fun Tasmanian Devil Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 27, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Tasmanian devil facts about their wildlife and habitat are insightful.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is the largest carnivorous marsupial of all species. They got their name as 'devils' from the early European settlers who claimed that the sound of these animals was similar to that of unearthly screams, shrieks, and growls. Found on the Australian island of Tasmania, they were thus named Tasmanian devils by the settlers.

These devils had faced a tragedy during the 1990s when an epidemic that affected all the Tasmanian devils had almost wiped out their whole population. Today their native land is considered to be Tasmania and a small breed is found in New South Wales.

They can also be found at different zoos, and adventure conservational places like the San Diego zoo or at the San Diego Safari park, Melbourne Zoo, and Auckland Zoo.

Read on to know more about the Tasmanian devil, and for facts about other animals check vampire bats and common wombats.

Tasmanian Devil Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Tasmanian Devil?

Tasmanian devils are carnivorous marsupials that belong to the Dasyuridae family of animals.

What class of animal does a Tasmanian Devil belong to?

Tasmanian devils belong to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many Tasmanian Devils are there in the world?

The conservation of these animals is listed as Endangered, especially after the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) epidemic of 1990. Their earlier population on the island state of Tasmania was 140,000 which is now only around 20,000 individuals after the disease.

Where does a Tasmanian Devil live?

The early research shows that these Tasmanian devils were not just found on the island state of Tasmania, but all over the Australian mainland. Although as of now, these marsupials are found only on the Australian island of Tasmania.

What is a Tasmanian Devil's habitat?

They are found in the open and dry forests as well as the rainforests of Australia. Their conservation is mainly focused on Tasmania.

They are also found on the agricultural lands where they get easy access to carrion, their main supply of food. They live in their dens, alone. Their dens are found in caves, hollow logs, or burrows of the open grounds.

Who does a Tasmanian Devil live with?

These marsupials are solitary in nature and do not live with their families. They are nocturnal and carnivorous and, hence, spend most of their day in their dens and gather in a small group at night to hunt for food.

While doing so, they end up growling and picking up fights to scare their opponent so that they can eat the food alone.

How long does a Tasmanian Devil live?

If this marsupial population is not hunted by its predators then it might have a lifespan of five to eight years with favorable wildlife conditions for its proper conservation.

How do they reproduce?

The Tasmanian devil's breeding season starts in the month of March. During this breeding season, the male fights to get access to a breeding female and the female stays in the male's control until the mating is done.

After mating, the males do not stay back and leave the females.

The females go through a gestation period of around three weeks or 21 days after which they give birth to a maximum of 40-50 babies. This is mainly because the females can have three ovulation cycles in one year of mating.

Once the babies are born, they stay in the mother's pouch where the mother feeds them and protects them from predators. Only four survive in the pouch at most. They live in the mother's pouch for the first four months after their birth until they are ready to live on their own.

What is their conservation status?

Earlier the population of this carnivorous marsupial was of the Least Concern. Although, after the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), the Tasmanian marsupial or devil's population was drastically threatened and Endangered.

Hence, according to the recent reports by the International Union for Control of Nature (IUCN), the population of the Tasmanian devil is listed as Endangered on their Red List.

Tasmanian Devil Fun Facts

What does a Tasmanian Devil look like?

The Tasmanian devil's whiskers help them locate prey in the dark.

These Tasmanian devils of the island state of Tasmania have brownish-black hair with white marks on their back and a patch near their throat. These devils have a small pinkish snout with black long whiskers.

They have a larger mouth in comparison with their body. The mouth has strong molars that can cut through the thickest of muscles and chew them down to the bones.

Their front legs are usually bigger than the rear ones. This physical description is similar for both males and females, except the females are usually smaller in size and have a pouch that is used by them after giving birth to carry the young ones.

The babies usually look pink due to the lack of body hair. Over the span of four months after birth, they develop their body hair, eyes, and molars.

How cute are they?

Tasmanian devils might look furious when they display their jaws and molars. However, when at a distance, they are not that harmful and can be cute with the pink snout but only from a distance.

How do they communicate?

The major channel for communication for the Tasmanian devil is sound or acoustics and visuals. They try to reciprocate by vocalizing with the help of shrieking and growling sounds.

Apart from this, they use their whiskers and sense of smell to sight their prey at night or in the dark. Other ways of communicating are using physical gestures like yawning and stiffening their tail to show whether they are bored, alarmed, or tired.

How big is a Tasmanian Devil?

Tasmanian devils are two to three times bigger than the northern quolls with a size of 20-31 in (50.8-70.7 cm).

How fast can a Tasmanian Devil run?

Tasmanian devils can run short distances to swiftly catch their prey even in the darkness. They have a maximum speed of 8.1 mph (13 kph).

How much does a Tasmanian Devil weigh?

Full-grown Tasmanian devils have an average weight of 13-18 lb (6-8 kg).

What are the male Tasmanian Devil and female Tasmanian Devil called?

Tasmanian devils don't have different names based on their sex.

What would you call a baby Tasmanian Devil?

The babies of Tasmanian devils are called joeys or imps.

What do they eat?

Tasmanian devils are pure carnivores and feed themselves by preying on small birds, insects, frogs, snakes, and fish. The diet that they mainly prefer is carrion.

They can even feed on dead animals and make sure that they do not leave out a single part of the animal's body. The Tasmanian devils eat bones and organs, as well as hair. At times these devils might even feed on fruits and plant tubes or roots.

Are they dangerous?

Tasmanian devils can get angry and aggressive if they sense any kind of threat. They show their jaws to scare people or competitors away. The bite of these devils is considered quite fatal amongst most other mammals. Even then, they do not bite if they aren't troubled and they are not considered to be extremely dangerous, especially to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

The endangered species of Tasmanian devils are not advised to be domesticated simply because they love the wildlife and find it difficult to ever adapt to the domesticated settings. Additionally, these devils can get aggressive, love to be solitary, and might bite if approached. Hence, the Tasmanian devil wouldn't make a good pet.

Did you know...

Tasmanian devils store their fat in their tails hence, if the tail seems fluffy it is considered that the Tasmanian devil is healthy.

Additionally, the Tasmanian devil is considered to be the largest marsupial species. It can also open its mouth and jaws up to 80 degrees wide usually while they yawn. The devils yawn especially when they face any danger or feel threatened and have to face the confrontation.

What does a Tasmanian Devil sound like?

It is said that the Tasmanian devils have the ability to make 11 different sounds which consist of a base process of growls, shrieks, yawns, and hisses with different intensities to communicate different situations. For instance, they growl whenever they seem to sense a danger approaching or while competing with an opponent for food.

They scream or shriek like a small human kid while fighting, and so on.

Where does the Tasmanian Devil originate from?

Reports and relicts suggest that over 3,000 years ago the population of these Tasmanian devils was in abundance, especially on the whole land of Australia. Although due to the Devil Facial Tumor Disease, they were almost wiped out from Australia in the ’90s.

The population was almost wiped out from the island of Tasmania in Australia, that being their land of origin. Recently, small breeding has been carried out in New South Wales to save the Tasmanian devils and increase their population.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Mexican free-tailed bats and Chinese hamsters.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Halloween Bat coloring pages.

Tasmanian Devil Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Carrion, insects, dead animals, frogs, fish, small birds, sheep, rabbits

What Type of Animal were they?

Meat

Average Litter Size?

20-40

How Much Did They Weigh?

13-18 lb (6-8 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

open and dry forests, agricultural lands, rainforests, hollow logs

Where Do They Live?

australia (tasmania)

How Long Were They?

20-31 in (50.8-70.7 cm)

How Tall Were They?

Unknown

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Sarcophilus

Family

Dasyuridae

Scientific Name

Sarcophilus Harrisii

What Do They Look Like?

Brown-black

Skin Type

Fur

What Are Their Main Threats?

tasmanian wolves, dogs, owls, eagles, foxes

What is their Conservation Status?

Endangered
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Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_devil

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/facts/tasmanian-devil

https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/tasmanian-devil

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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