Animal Diaries Archive
Tassie Devil Titbits
21 March 2008
I am very fortunate to have begun training with a particularly special animal in the Mammals Department; the Tasmanian Devil. My excitement is building as I learn more about this precious species.
Did you know Tassie Devils can only sweat through their noses and the pads on their feet? Also, they are marsupials, and just like a wombat or a Koala, their pouches face backwards!
Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal animals, meaning they sleep during the day and come out to feed at night time. Their eyesight is pretty poor even when it’s light, so these creatures navigate with their excellent sense of smell and use their extremely long whiskers as feelers.
The Tassie Devil has a pretty bad wrap for being scary savage carnivores, but once you get to know them, you soon realise that deep down they are just big softies who love attention from their keepers. But due care must be taken to avoid becoming complacent with their shy nature. These animals have three times the jaw pressure of a Pit-bull Terrier and can cause a lot of damage with their bites. Therefore it is imperative that our Devil keepers can accurately read their behaviour. There a lots of things you can tell about how a Tassie Devil feels, just by closely observing their body language and vocal tones. For example, did you know that when Tasmanian Devils become angry, their usually pink ears become darker red in colour? Also, when the Devils are alert the hair on their tails stands on end, and when they are calm, their whiskers relax and point backward towards their bodies.
So these are only a few interesting facts about the amazing Tasmanian Devils. Be sure to come and visit our beautiful devils next time you’re at the Zoo – you might even catch me there!
Our Amazing Tasmanian Devils
Tasmanian Devils are the largest living carnivorous marsupial (Dasyurid) in Australia. They have sharp powerful claws and a backward facing pouch. Male dev ...more