Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devils

Hailing from this island in Australia, demons are scavenging marsupials.

The Tasmanian devil is a carnivorous marsupial, whose boisterous nature through yelling and growling has earned it such a name.

Hailing from Australia's southernmost island, Tasmania; demons (scientific name: sarcophilus harrisii) are scavengers with a prominent head and a powerful bite of up to 84 kilograms per square centimeter with which they can easily break bones from decaying corpses.

Immortalized in cartoons, this marsupial plays an important role in the food chain site.

With a great nose for carrion, demons help their habitat to decompose and degrade nutrients back to the ecosystem, by eating any dead animals. However, they can hunt smaller prey, mainly birds, lizards, insects, even small wallabies, the kangaroo family.

Normally, demons eat about 15% of their body weight every day, although they can eat up to 40% of their body weight in thirty minutes if the opportunity arises, and store the excess fat in their tails.

These marsupials find refuge in logs, bushes, burrows or caves under rocks, from where they can travel up to 16 kilometers to find food guided by that acute sense of smell.

Tasmanian Devils are not exceptionally fast runners, but they can run for a long period of time. Also, they are excellent climbers and swimmers.

The Tasmanian devil breeding season lasts from March to May. Tasmanian devil mothers have a gestation period of 3 weeks. Like all marsupials, Tasmanian devil mothers give birth to very small young.

Once born, infants called imps crawl through the mother's fur and enter her pouch, which is common among Australian marsupials such as the Koala or the Kangaroo. It can have up to 50 young at a time, but only a maximum of 4 survive from the pouch. Babies stay in their pouch for four months.

When they come out of the bag, the imps often ride on the back of their mothers, like young koalas, or possums; or they stay in the studio while she hunts.

Their declining population puts them in danger

Threats to Tasmanian devils include attacks by domestic dogs, wild dogs such as Australian Dingoes and foxes, being struck by vehicles, loss of habitat due to the logging industry and crops; as well as diseases.

In the 1990s, the total population of Tasmanian devils was estimated at 130,000 to 150,000. However, the population has been in continuous rapid decline ever since.

Tragically, since the mid-1990s, a catastrophic disease has killed tens of thousands of Tasmanian devils. Called devil's facial tumor disease, this deadly condition is a rare contagious cancer that causes bumps to form around the animal's mouth and head, making it difficult to feed.

This decrease in their population has placed them on the list of Endangered Animals by the International Union for Conservation, which has included them in the Red List which aims to create awareness for its conservation.

The Tasmanian state government has become aware of this situation and has created more national parks, as well as conservation plans for the Tasmanian devil populations on this Australian island.

If you are hiking in Australia, it is possible that by traveling to Tasmania and doing trails like the Overland Track, you may come across one of these specimens.



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