(Sacrophilus Harrisii)
by Gordon Grajek

Physical Characteristics: The Tasmanian Devil is usually about one foot tall and 2 to 4 feet long including its tail. Their fur is usually black containing a white stripe located above their front legs. Also, the jaw of a Tasmanian Devil is very brawny allowing it to tear through the flesh of its prey. In addition, when they become irritated there ears turn bright red. Tasmanian Devils are marsupials which means they have a pouch in which their joeys or young develop in for a period of time.

Habitat: Tasmanian Devils are now only located wild on the island of Tasmania, which is a state in Australia. Many are found near human settlements where they scavenge for food. Devils are nocturnal so they spend most of the day resting, in a state called Tupor, in caves and hollow logs. Tupor is when an animal drops its body temperature to match its surroundings to conserve energy. Also, the Tasmanian Devil has a home range of 25 to 50 acres in which it lives in for its entire life.


Reproduction: The Tasmanian Devil reproduces sexually. They mostly mate during March and May (their breeding season). A female Devilís gestation period is about 21 weeks. After, a litter of approximately four joeys develop in the mothers pouch 2-4 weeks. At six months the joeys are old enough to go out on their own. After two years the joeys are mature enough to reproduce. They usually live for five to eight years.

Food Chain: The Tasmanian Devil eats mostly carrion. However, they also eat small mammals such as wallabies, insects and their larvae, and occasionally vegetable matter. Devils are not prey to any other animals in particular.

Uses: Tasmanian Devils are used for entertainment and education in Australian Zooís. Farmers welcome Devils on their land because they kill other crop killing rodents.


Miscellaneous Facts:


World Book 2002 Edition (T)
Grzimek's Encyclopedia Mammals Vol.1