Fur n Feather Friday

03 Nov

Today’s furry friend is the Tasmanian Devil.


  • Devils are only found in Tasmania
  • Devils used be found on mainland Australia
  • Devils are the world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivore
  • Devils give birth to more young than they can feed – with only 4 teats, the first 4 babies that can attach themselves to a teat in their mother’s pouch will be the ones who have a chance of reaching adulthood
  • Devils are nocturnal and are shy and timid
  • Devils have a variety of loud screeches, growls and other noises including a “sneeze” during fighting with other devils
  • Due to their powerful jaws and large teeth Devils use these intimidating vocalisations to bluff and bluster their way out of fights rather than risk combat and serious injury and to establish dominance during feeding
  • Devils are harmless to humans (but please don’t try and pick one up)
  • Males are bigger than females
  • The pouch faces backwards so that when the mothers dig their pouch is not filled with dirt


My mum thinks I’m cute.

Devil Mythbusting

  • They do not run around the bush like a tornado despite what the cartoons tell us
  • The characteristic “yawn” to not a sign of aggression, but rather intimidation


Despite being nocturnal, Devils don’t mind a bit of sun-baking

Tasmanian Devil Conservation

  • Early European settlers hunted and killed Tasmanian Devils to the point of extinction
  • Devils became a fully protected species by law in June 1941
  • In the mid/late nineties a facial tumor disease was first observed afflicting wild adult Devils (the disease is officially known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease)


  • The Devil Facial Tumour Disease has 100% mortality rate in areas of High Devil population density
  • Devils are listed as vulnerable
  • There is no cure for the Devil Facial Tumour Disease
  • As Devils are very important to the ecology of Tasmania this disease may have far reaching consequences
  • For more Devil information including a short video and a sound recording please visit The Tasmanian Devil page of the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania
  • For more information on the Devil Facial Tumour Disease and to read about what you can do to help please visit Disease Affecting Tasmanian Devils



Posted by on November 3, 2006 in Animals


2 responses to “Fur n Feather Friday

  1. Nubiancraftster

    November 3, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    Wow Jane. I always feel a little more educated on Fridays. Poor Devils and the Tumor Disease. Make you think about our own mortality and when there will be a disease we truly cannot combat. Thanks for the Fur and Feathers updates!

  2. Miss_Vicki

    November 8, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    I have noticed that the Devil at the local koala sanctury is alays running around his pen in a figure eight pattern (erm, all three times I have seen him there that is). He had worn himself a track, so I figure it is a habit. Makes me wonder if this is a common Devil behaviour, and if it is, it might have been the inspiration for that whole cartoon tornado thing. It is cute regardless, ‘cos he really looks like he is having the time of his life.


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