Tasmanian Devil Facts | Australia South Wildlife Guide
Adult devils grow to the size of a small dog but possess a much stronger bite; they have the strongest mammalian bite in the world! It comes as no surprise that their scientific classification, Sarcophilus harrisii, is Greek for “flesh loving.” The most famous Tasmanian devil characteristic is its feisty personality. When threatened, devils will lunge at the predator—shrieking, baring its teeth and spinning around in circles. Devils also exhibit these defensive behaviors when searching for a mate and warding off other devils from stealing their carcass meal. Both male and female Tasmanian devils build nests from the surrounding flora, which they inhabit throughout the day. Females give birth to 20 to 30 raisin-sized babies that crawl up the mother's fur, into the pouch, where they remain for roughly 100 days.
According to the species Red List developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Tasmanian devils are endangered. In the mid-1990s a disease was detected in devils that is transmittable via biting, which is common amongst devils when mating or fighting. The disease causes facial tumors, making it difficult for devils to eat, eventually killing them within 6 months to a year. Currently, there is no cure or vaccine. Other threats to Tasmanian devils include attacks by domestic dogs, habitat loss and obstructive human activities.