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Description of Tasmanian Devil

´╗┐The Tasmanian devil belongs to a primitive group of mammals, the marsupials, which are found today primarily in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, southern Mexico, Central America, and South America. The name "marsupials" refers to the animal's marsupium, the pouchlike structure to which the immature young move after they are born, becoming attached for several months as they complete their development. The well-known pouch of kangaroos is the classic example of a marsupium, although it should be noted that a few marsupials do not have pouches and in some, including the Tasmanian devil, the pouch opens downward. During their long geological separation from the rest of the world, marsupials in Australia and South America underwent adaptive radiation, which produced an enormous diversity of forms as species became adapted to various habitats. As a result, many marsupials resemble placental mammals although they are not closely related. Thus, there are marsupials that resemble flying squirrels, moles, woodchucks, cats, and dogs. The Tasmanian devil, although a marsupial, has many similarities in structure and behavior to a dog.

Physical Characteristics

The devil belongs to a family of marsupials known as the Dasyuridae, which are found in Tasmania, Australia, New Guinea, and some nearby islands. The group includes the Tasmanian wolf or tiger, the numbat or banded anteater, and shrewlike, catlike, and ratlike forms. The Tasmanian devil is distinctive even within this distinctive group of marsupials. It received its name, "The Devil", from the early European settlers to Tasmania, who were awed by its fierce behavior and loud vocalizations. The devil actually is a stocky but short-limbed animal, doglike in shape, and only weighs between 4.5 and 12 kilograms, standing only about 30 centimeters tall. Its dark, mostly black color also contributes to its "evil" reputation. The animal does have a voracious appetite. It has a large head and very powerful jaws with long canine teeth. The devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial, extremely strong for its size; it can feed on animals larger than itself, including small kangaroos. It usually rests during the day and seeks food at night. Its food is varied and may include amphibians, lizards, rodents, insects, and poultry. The devilmayprey on live animals or may feed on carrion. Its nightly movementsmaycover distances up to ten miles or more. The legs are short and the animal usually moves along slowly, although it is capable of running quickly for short distances.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Tasmanian Devil