Tassie Devil with young uns
Tasmanian Devils are the largest carnivorous marsupials in the world today; they’re the size of a small dog, weighing 4kg to 14kg, and standing about 30cm tall.
For their size, they have one of the most powerful bites of any mammal!
Devils have dark brown to black fur (sometimes with a hint of red-brown), with a large white stripe across their breast and the odd spot on their sides. Their faces are compact, with long whiskers, dark eyes and pink on the inner ears.
Like other marsupials, such as Antechinus, they store fat in their tails in times of plenty, to draw on when food is scarce. Their legs are stocky and powerful. With front legs longer than hind legs, they walk a little like a pig. Surprisingly, Tasmanian Devils, especially when young, are agile tree climbers.
The population has suffered recent, rapid declines, and they’re currently listed as Endangered – at high risk of extinction in the wild – according to state and national legislation, as well as the Once Tasmanian Devils were found all over Australia. It’s possible that the introduction of the Dingo in pre-European times led to their extinction on mainland Australia.
They now inhabit most of Tasmania, though they prefer forests and coastal scrublands. Here they create dens in hollow logs, under rocks, in wombat burrows and in caves.