Occurrence records map
The Tasmanian Devil is the largest surviving carnivorous marsupial in the world. It has a thick-set, squat build, with a relatively large, broad head and short, thick tail. The fur is mainly black, but white markings often occur on the rump and chest. Body size also varies greatly, depending on the diet and habitat. ... source: OZ Animals
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- Brief description: Thick set, stocky body, broad head and strong jaws. Coarse, thick black fur often with irregular white markings.
- Description : Thick set, stocky body, broad head and strong jaws. Coarse, thick black fur often with irregular white markings on chest, neck and rump. Runs with a distinctive loping gait. Body size is very variable according to diet and habitat. Males are larger than the females. Large males can be up to 12 kg in weight. Head, body and tail combined length 90 cm.
- Biology : Endemic and widespread across Tasmania, Devils can roam large distances in search of food. Mainly a scavenger with a very varied diet, they will eat almost anything they come across. Its powerful jaws allow it to consume its prey entirely - bones and fur. They can often be heard screaming and squabbling over carcasses, the noise and display being part of the animal’s social hierarchy. Breeding tends to be in March, with young born in April. Up to four in a litter, young remain in the pouch for about 4 months. The Devil is the largest extant carnivorous marsupial and fossil evidence suggests they used to be found across the Australian mainland. Devil numbers have been in serious decline due to the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) that is characterised by cancers to the mouth and face and is fatal to the animal.
- Habitat: Agricultural areas, coastal heath, open dry sclerophyll forest, and mixed sclerophyll-rainforest.
- Native status: Native to Australia; now confined to Tasmania.
- Maximum size (cm): 90
- Diet: Omnivore
- Colours: black, white
- Distribution: Tasmania
- Habitat types: Terrestrial
- Commercial species: False
- Author credit: Belinda Bauer / Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery
Tassy Devil Movie
Video by: Alan Couch
Rights: Attribution License
Source: Flickr EOL
Names and sources
|Didelphis ursina Harris, 1808 Harris, 1808|
|Published in: Harris, G.P. 1808. Description of two new species of Didelphis from Van Diemen's Land. Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. Ser. 1 Vol. 9 pp. 174-178 pl. 19|
|Sarcophilus ursinus (Harris, 1808)|
|Published in: Cuvier, G.L.C.F.D. 1837. in Geoffroy [Saint-Hilaire], É. & Cuvier, F. Histoire Naturelle des Mammifères, avec figures originales, coloriées, dessinées d'après des animaux vivants. (=Tome septième). Livr. 70 Paris : Blaise Vol. quatrième|
|Sarcophilus ursinus (Harris, 1808) (Harris, 1808)|
|Ursinus harrisii Boitard, 1841 Boitard, 1841|
|Published in: Boitard, [P.] 1841. Le Jardin des Plantes. Description et Moeurs des Mammifères de la Ménagerie et du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle Précédé d'une Introduction Historique, Descriptive et Pittoresque par M.J. Janin Paris : J.J. Dubochet et Ce lxvi pp. lxvi, 472 pp.|
|Sarcophilus satanicus Thomas, 1903 Thomas, 1903|
|Published in: Thomas, O. 1903. Note on the technical name of the Tasmanian Devil. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. Ser. 7 Vol. 11 pp. 289|