Tasmanian Devil - Information and Pictures

Information on the Tasmanian Devil and Taz cartoon

The real Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is an animal only native to Tasmania. It is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world after the extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger in 1936. They were given their unique name by European explorers who were initially terrified by their "hellish" sounding growls and screeches. They are roughly the size of a small dog with about the same proportions as a pitbull and have tremendous jaw strength being able to crunch through bones with ease!

Today, devils are endangered in Tasmania by a recently discovered illness commonly known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Tasmanian devil
Tasmanian Devil

Tazmanian Devil

Taz the Tazmanian Devil was a Looney Tunes cartoon character created in the 1950's. The Taz cartoon was loosely based around the real Tassie Devil with a similar appearance and a ravenous appetite! Today the Taz cartoon is one of the most popular cartoon characters around. Sadly, however Taz may outlive the real Tasmanian Devil as it is threatened by extinction.

tazmanian devil
Taz the Tazmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil Pictures

Below are some Tasmanian Devil pictures. The devil is about the same size as a small dog. It has a squat and solid appearance with a large head, short legs and a large thick tail. Male devils are usually larger than females with an average weight of 8 kg (18 lb), with females being an average of 6 kg (13lb). Devils usually have black fur with irregular white patches that are often found on the chest and rump which can be used to identify them individually. They also have long whiskers around their nose and on the top of their heads which they use to locate objects in the dark with.

Tasmanian Devil picture

pictures of tasmanian devilspacertassie devil jaw

Baby Taz

Devil Facial Tumour Disease

Devil Facial Tumor Disease is fast becoming a serious threat to the native devil population. A normal life expectancy for the Tassie Devil is usually up to six years and a healthy population of devils has been present in Tasmania until recently. Devil facial tumor disease is a non-viral transmittable parasitic cancer that causes tumours to form and spread widely around the devil's mouth. This leads to interference with regular eating habits, and eventually leads to starvation and death. The first case of Devil Facial Tumour Disease was described in 1996 and since then has gone on to affect over 65% of the species. There has been between a 20 to 50% decline in the Tassie Devil population since the discovery of the disease. This has recently made the devil an endangered species.

tasmanian devil facial tumour disease
Devil Facial Tumour Disease

Find out more about Tasmania

Find out more about Tasmanian Devil