Tasmanian Devils are Australia’s largest living marsupial carnivore. Monarto Safari Park works with several other Australian zoos to maintain an insurance population that aids the recovery effort for the Tasmanian Devil. Boosting genetic diversity and maintaining a healthy captive population is key to the future for these amazing marsupials.
But, just how much to you know about Tasmanian Devil joeys? Read our ten fascinating facts, watch our film clip and take the quiz. You’ll be an expert by the end!
10 amazing facts about Tasmanian Devils
- Tasmanian Devils were once widespread over mainland Australia, studies show that devils disappeared from mainland approximately 3000-4000 years ago.
- The Tasmanian Devil is only found on the island state of Tasmania.
- Until recently this species was considered common, however, due to the presence of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) there had been a sharp decline in the population from its discovery in 1996.
- Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal creatures and in the wild spend the majority of the day sleeping in a den or dense bush.
- Tasmanian devils can be quite agile in their early life and often scale trees in search of food.
- Tasmanian Devils get their name because of the growling and screaming noises that they make, along with their general appearance, they were thought to represent the devil by early explorers.
- On average male devils can weigh as much as 10-12kg with females being slightly smaller growing to 8kg. Thinks of a small to medium size dog.
- Tasmanian Devils have extremely powerful jaw muscles, this has enabled devils to crush bone which is a part of their natural diet.
- A Tasmanian Devil has four teats which mean devil mothers can raise up to four joeys each year.
- Joeys are carried within the pouch until about 4 months of age, they then begin to ride on their mothers back or get left within the den while their mother goes in search of food.
In the video above, Simon Dower tells us all about the exciting news that Thumbelina has given birth to some joeys which means more healthy Tasmanian Devils! Listen carefully to what Simon tells you about Thumbelina and the birthing process and read the ten facts before answering these questions. Good luck!
Quiz – test your knowledge of Tasmanian Devils
- How many joeys were in Thumbelina’s litter last year?
- What is the name for the Tasmanian Devil’s birthing position?
- Does a Devil’s pouch face forward or in reverse?
- How many teats are there in a devil’s pouch?
- Do Tasmanian Devils live on mainland Australia?
- What is DFTD?
- What noises do Tasmanian Devils make?
- How large do Tasmanian Devils grow?
- Are Tasmanian Devils herbivores or carnivores?
- What is an insurance population of animals?