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Animal Awareness Tip: Tazmanian Devil

Maideline Sanchez

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Everyone may know the Tazmanian Devil to be the vicious yet adorable creature in Looney Tunes who spins around in circles and produces low guttural sounds to spook its prey. However, the Tasmanian Devil is mostly dissimilar to the actual Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) that lives in an island south of Australia called State of Tasmania. As a matter of fact, the Sarcophilus harrisii are known for their intolerably loud high-pitched screech that they produce when they feel threatened, when fighting for a mate, or when battling for food. They are also known for their putrid smell when stressed out and their extremely aggressive behavior. Because of its large head in proportion to its body, the Tasmanian Devil has the strongest bite out of any other mammal. Tasmanian Devils are solitary and hunt or scavenge for food at night with the help of their long specialized whiskers. When the opportunity arises, Tasmanian Devils will form in groups during their mealtime and at some instances will fight for their share. After the demise of the Thylacine in 1936 Tasmanian Devils became listed as the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world; males are listed as 25.7 inches in length on average while females are listed as 22 inches in length.

In a six year life expectancy, females will reach sexual maturity at the age of two. Once an egg is fertilized, it may take up to 21 days to produce 20 to 30 offspring, which will crawl three inches into the mother’s reversed pouch. However, unfortunately only 4 of the offspring will survive because there are only four teats in the mother’s pouch. Offspring will fully develop 100 days after feeding from the nipple and will leave the pouch to be taken care of by the mother in their den. After six weeks, offspring will become independent and leave their den to head out on their own.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Animal Awareness Tip: Tazmanian Devil