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Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) Fact Sheet
Order: Dasyuromorphia (most of the carnivorous marsupials in Australia; around 70 species of small marsupials)
Family: Dasyuridae (some 21 genera of small marsupials)
Species: Sarcophilus harrisii - Tasmanian devil
Subspecies: Sarcophilus harrisii harrisii - extant Tasmanian devil
Subspecies: † Sarcophilus harrisii dixonae - extinct Tasmanian devil
Male: 8-14 kg (20-31 lb)
Female: 5-9 kg (10-20 lb)
Male: 652 mm (2.14 ft)
Female: 570 mm (1.9 ft)
Male: 258 mm (10.2 in)
Female: 244 mm (9.61 in)
Black fur marked by white on rump and chest
|Distribution & Status
||Behavior & Ecology
Most abundant in eucalyptus forests, woodlands, and coastal scrub.
Endangered (2008 assessment)
Listed as an endangered species by the Australian Government
Population in Wild
10,000-25,000 mature individuals; some uncertainty in estimates
Walk, run, good swimming ability. Climb trees.
Usually nocturnal. May sunbathe during the day.
Solitary, but feed communally. Interact mostly while feeding and during breeding.
Scavenge on carcasses, mostly possums and macropods. Ambush, chase, or catch live prey (opportunistically).
Dingoes, foxes, domestic dogs
|Reproduction & Development
Males: Begin mating at 3-4 years of age, but reach physical maturity sooner
Females: 1-2 years old
1-4, with a single young is the least common
0.18-0.29 g (0.01 oz and less)
Age at Weaning
At about 7 months
- Largest carnivorous marsupials in the world today
- Known for unusual vocalizations
- Dig concealed, underground burrows
- Sharp, non-retractable claws for digging, holding prey, finding food
- Many blood vessels in their ears; when agitated, their ears become red
- A facial tumor disease threatens Tasmanian devils with extinction
About This Fact Sheet
© 2012-2019 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Mortality & Health, population estimates updated Apr 2019.
How to cite: Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) Fact Sheet. c2012-2019. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ tasmaniandevil
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to email@example.com.
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