Tasmanian devil

Sarcophilus laniarius

SUBFAMILY Dasyurinae

TAXONOMY

Sarcophilus laniarius (Owen, 1838), Wellington caves (Pleistocene), Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Length 22.4-25.7 in (570-652 mm). Black all over with coarse long fur on medium-length tail; white markings most common on chest as well as on shoulders and rump; robust build with massive head, sloping hindquarters, and very short legs; fat storage in tail.

DISTRIBUTION

The island of Tasmania, Australia. HABITAT

Open forests and woodlands.

BEHAVIOR

Social, but can be solitary; aggregates at carcasses. Promiscuous mating system.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Predator and specialized scavenger. Medium-sized mammals such as wallabies and possums.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk. Common in suitable habitat.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Predates poultry and weak lambs. ♦

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