Tasmanian devil


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Tasmanian devil,

extremely voracious marsupialmarsupial
, member of the order Marsupialia, or pouched mammals. With the exception of the New World opossums and an obscure S American family (Caenolestidae), marsupials are now found only in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and a few adjacent islands.
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, or pouched mammal, of the dasyuredasyure
, name for several small, predatory marsupials, or pouched mammals, of the family Dasyuridea, found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. Typical dasyures, known in Australia as native cats, are furry animals with large eyes, pointed snouts, and long tails.
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 family, now found only on the island of Tasmania. The Tasmanian devil, Sarcophilus harrisi, formerly found also in Australia, is about 2 ft (60 cm) long, excluding the 12-in. (30-cm) tail. It has a large head, with powerful jaws, and weak hindquarters. Its blackish fur is marked with white patches on the throat, on each side, and on the rump. The animal has a fierce appearance. It is very strong for its size and preys on animals larger than itself, such as small kangaroos, as well as on rodents, lizards, and other small animals. It lives in burrows in rocky areas.

Like the related thylacinethylacine
or Tasmanian wolf,
carnivorous marsupial, or pouched mammal, of New Guinea, Australia, and Tasmania, presumed extinct since 1936. The thylacine is often cited as an example of convergent evolution: It was superficially quite similar to a wolf or dog, although
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, or Tasmanian wolf, the Tasmanian devil was relentlessly hunted because of its inroads on domestic livestock and poultry. Although it survived in sizable numbers in remote areas of the island, it is now threatened by a fatal contagious facial cancer that has spread steadily and decimated infected populations since the late 1990s. In 2009 the Tasmanian devil was officially declared endangered. A lack of genetic diversity in the marsupial has facilitated the cancer's spread; the recent discovery of a possibly resistant genetically different population in W Tasmania has raised hopes for the species. Efforts are being made to establish a sizable disease-free population on the Australian mainland.

The Tasmanian devil is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Dasyuridae.

Tasmanian Devil

 

(Sarcophilus harrisii), a mammal of the family Dasyuridae. The body length varies from 52 to 80 cm, and the tail length, from 23 to 30 cm. The head is disproportionately large. The body is covered with short black hairs. There are white patches on the snout, chest, and sides. The pouch opens posteriorly. The Tasmanian devil is distributed in Tasmania, where it inhabits forests. A nocturnal animal, it shelters during the day in rock crevices and in cavities beneath fallen trees. It feeds on a variety of vertebrates. It reproduces once a year, producing up to four young per litter. Its numbers are few.

Tasmanian devil

a small ferocious carnivorous marsupial, Sarcophilus harrisi, of Tasmania, having black fur with pale markings, strong jaws, and short legs: family Dasyuridae
References in periodicals archive ?
The Tasmanian Government is committed to protecting and rebuilding the Tasmanian devil population, and its partnerships with local businesses such as HVCP that will help ensure the devils survival.
Caption: Disease wave Since 1996, an infectious facial tumor that kills Tasmanian devils has spread across Tasmania.
The Minister's approval was subject to several conditions, including the condition that Shree Minerals donate money to a fund for the purpose of assisting with the maintenance of the Tasmanian devil insurance population, being a program to establish a population of healthy devils in captivity to be released into the wild, if necessary, to support the survival of the species.
If the envelope contains red paper, you are a Tasmanian devil that's "infected" with devil facial tumor disease.
Due to a lack of genetic diversity among Tasmanian devils their bodies don't recognize the cells as foreign so the cells aren't rejected by the animal's immune system,'' the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program says on its website.
Murchison, who now works at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, England, comes from Tasmania, an Australian island that is the only native home to Tasmanian devils.
This disease has led to the decline of about 70 per cent of the Tasmanian devil population since the disease was first reported in 1996," Peter Garrett, the Australian environment minister, said in a statement.
Naturewise Conservation Holidays, operated by CVA, give international visitors to Australia an opportunity to learn more about the plight of the Tasmanian Devil and contribute to efforts to save it from extinction.
Species such as the Tasmanian devil, the Caspian seal and south-east Asia's fishing cat are among those to see their fortunes plummet and are now among the 450 mammals listed as endangered.
The Tasmanian Devil is in danger of being wiped out
The island, located off the southern tip of Australia, offers a mild climate, lush vegetation, and unusual wildlife, such as its signature Tasmanian Devil.
Australia's Tasmanian devil will be listed as an endangered species this week as a result of a deadly and disfiguring cancer outbreak, the state government said yesterday.

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