Wildlife Wednesday -Tasmanian Devil

felt Tasmanian Devil ornament
It finally happened! A Wildlife Wednesday post actually lines up with the release of the newest Squshie! Yesterday I introduced you all to Ezra and today's wildlife post is all about Tasmanian Devils! 
Tasmanian Devils are the largest carnivorous marsupials.
Wild Tasmanian devils are found only in Tasmania Australia. They used to live all over Australia. They went extinct on the mainline many years ago.
Tasmanian devils typically live 5-8 years.
Tassy Devil by dnatheist, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  dnatheist 
Male Tasmanian devils are bigger than females.
Tasmanian devils have oversized heads. Their heads and necks can make up a quarter of their total weight.
Tasmanian devils are nocturnal.
by SignalPAD

Tasmanian devils are strong. They can climb trees and swim rivers. They can't run very fast, but they can go long distances. Then can run 15 mph for an hour without stopping to rest.

The Tasmanian devil has the most powerful bite of any land predator. Their jaws have the power to gnaw through metal traps.

by interllectual

Tasmanian devils mostly eat carrion but they will also hunt live prey such as birds, fish, and snakes. They'll eat anything they can find, even if it is half rotten.

Tasmanian devils waste nothing when they find food. They will eat bones, hair and organs. They are sometimes referred to as vacuum cleaners for how efficiently they clean away carcasses.

Tasmanian devils often start eating carrion by tearing out the digestive system. It is the softest part of the anatomy.
by jonclark2000

This animal can eat 5-10% of their body weight in a day. If they get the chance, they can eat up to 40% of their weight in a half hour.

A well fed Tasmanian devil will have a swollen tail. The tail is where they store excess fat for when food is scarce.
by quollism

Devils are solitary but you can sometimes find a group of them sharing a carcass.

When eating in groups they often snarl, growl, screech and scream at a high pitch to show their dominance. These disturbing sounds sounds are what inspired European settlers to name them devils.

by dnatheist

Tasmanian devils give birth to 20-30 young, which are the size of a grain of rice at birth. Mom can only take care of 4. The majority of the young don’t survive.

Baby Tasmanian devils are called imps. They live in mom's pouch for about 4 months.
by James Laurence Stewart

Devils are famous for their pose with mouth wide. It may look threatening to us, but to Tasmanian devils it is an indication of fear rather than a threat.

Tasmanian devils challenge other devils to a fight with a sharp sneeze.
Tasmanian_Devil_15 by variationblogr, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  variationblogr 

Tasmanian devils almost went extinct. Farmers didn't like them because they often stole chickens so a cash reward was given for each devil killed. In 1941 laws were put in place to protect them.

Tasmanian devils are fast falling victim to devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a rare contagious cancer spread through biting. Large lumps form on the Tasmanian devil's mouth and face making it difficult for them to eat, eventually causing death by starvation.


If you'd like a felt Tasmanian Devil for your holiday tree this year you can find Ezra the Squshies Tasmanian Devil here