Tasmanian Devils for Christian and Techie Kids

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Techie Kids

Hello again, Christian.

As promised, here is some information on the Tasmanian devil. Firstly, I was surprised to find I didn't have a photo of a Tasmanian devil in my collection. While I know I have photographed them years back, the photos no longer seem to be here to scan and share. As such, I have prepared a drawing of one for you using Photoshop.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here are some Tasmanian devil facts...

* Tasmanian devils are marsupial mammals. The females have pouches and give milk to their developing young.

* Their scientific names is Sarcophilus harrisii.

* They are only found naturally in Tasmania but are also in many mainland zoos. They had once lived on the mainland.

* With the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) in the 1930s, the Tasmanian devil became the largest marsupial carnivore. They are the size of a small dog.

* For their size, they have a very strong bite.

* Being carnivores, they eat meat. They hunt for prey but will eat carrion (dead animals) or even household scraps from humans.

* They normally live alone but can be found in groups if there is a large dead animal available for feeding.

* Like all marsupials, the young are born quite small (0.20 g or 0.0071 oz) and must make their way into the pouch to attach to a nipple to feed.

* After around 100 days, the young are ejected from the pouch but they become independent after about nine months.

* Whereas foxes and cats introduced to the mainland have caused problems for many small mammals, the devil's habit of eating carrion and their ability to kill cats and foxes has kept the introduced animals under control in Tasmania.

 Wikipedia reference used...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_devil

 

The Devil's Future

In the wild, the Tasmanian devil is now classed as endangered. A devil facial tumour disease has been reducing their numbers since the 1990s. The Tasmanian state government is trying to save them by establishing isolated colonies free from the disease. Mainland zoos also have breeding devils.

 

You Tube

Here are some You Tube clips I've found. I don't have clips of my own because my local animal sanctuary doesn't have devils.

 

The first introduction many people have had to the Tasmanian devil is through Bugs Bunny cartoons. Tassie, the Tasmanian devil, is shown as a spinning creature capable of going through any object. Here is a cartoon of Tassie I found on You Tube.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Now let's look at some You Tube clips showing the real Tasmanian devil. This first clip shows a captive devil in a zoo enclosure...

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

You can see them feeding in this clip taken in a zoo...

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Why are they called devils? Early settlers in Tasmania would hear sounds coming from the forest and thought something evil or threatening was lurking in there watching them. Listen to the sounds they made. If you didn't know what was making the sound, what would you think?

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

For a last clip, I found this copy of a silent film made in 1936. It shows the last known living Tasmanian tiger (thylacine). When it died on 7 September 1936, the Tasmanian tiger was classed as extinct. Some people have claimed to have seen them in isolated areas of Tasmania since then but no proof has ever been shown.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

2 thoughts on “Tasmanian Devils for Christian and Techie Kids

  1. Christian

    Dear Mr. Ross,

    That drawing is amazing! Thank you for sharing that information with me. That is instresting how they got their name. I would never of guessed. I have two questions. Were the Devils hunted off of the mainland or did they leave because of another reason? And did Natives spot the Tasmanian Tiger or was it tourists?

    Sincerley,

    Christian
    Techie Kids

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Dear Christian,

      Fossil records of devils were found on the mainland but I don’t think anyone knows why they are only found in Tasmania. It could have been climate or even dingoes first arriving with the Aboriginal people.

      There are people in Tasmania who go out searching for Tasmanian tigers. Some may be tourists hoping to be the first to prove they aren’t extinct but there are those who have been searching for years. They look for traces or try to record sounds but nothing yet found has been accepted.

      It was European settlers responsible for hunting the tigers to extinction. There are rugged places in Tasmania where few people ever visit so there might be some survivors. I would need to see good quality photos or videos or perhaps the remains of one found dead before I would believe they still exist.

      @RossMannell

      Reply

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