The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is probably one of the few marsupials that have a carnivorous diet. It is also the largest living carnivorous marsupial. The devil lives in the mainland Australia.
Adult males measure 25.7 inches in body length with a 10.2 inches long tail. Males weigh as much as 18 pounds. Females are 22 inches long and weigh 13 pounds.
Tasmanian devils are all black. They are pretty powerful and produce a loud screeching sound.
Tasmanian devils are found in northwestern and eastern Tasmania. An isolated population also occurs in Robbins Island, Badger Island, and Bruny Island.
Devils will make habitats in coastal woodlands as well as in sclerophyll forests. They prefer habitats which receive as little a rainfall as possible.
Tasmanian devils become active in the early hours of dusk as well as at night. They will spend much of the day resting. Young devils can climb up the trees whereas adults are too heavy to carry their weight.
Tasmanian devils are opportunistic hunters and scavengers. They will not hesitate to take on the prey two times the size of their own. Tasmanian devils eat bettongs, birds, frogs, insects, fish, reptiles, tadpoles, potoroos, and joeys (baby kangaroos). Above all, they like to hunt wombats.
Tasmanian devils are pretty good swimmers. They can swim in icy cold water.
Devils make dens in dense vegetation, caves, and dense grass tussocks.
The devil has a prehensile tail which keeps a balance when the devil is running quickly. They travel as much as 5.3 miles a night.
Tasmanian devils can also open their jaws to 80 degrees. They have a keen sense of smell.
Tasmanian devils can reach a speed of 16 miles per hour but the average speed is 8.1 miles per hour.
The female produces as many as 20 – 30 pups after a gestation period of 21 days. Each pup weighs up to 0.18 gram at birth. Young devils are known as imps, joeys, and pups.
The maximum lifespan of a Tasmanian devil is about 5 years in the wild.
Predators of Tasmanian devil are dingoes, spotted tail quolls, owls, eagles, and Asian dogs.
The overall population of Tasmanian devil is about 10,000 – 15,000 in the wild.