The real Tasmanian devil doesn't really resemble the famous cartoon character. It isn't the same size as humans, for example. Nor does it storm through its surroundings like a swirling tornado. The Tasmanian devil is just 20 to 31 inches 51 to 79 centimeters tall and weighs only 9 to 26 lbs.
The Tasmanian devil is found on the island of Tasmania in Australia — an area of about 35, square miles 90, square kilometers. But no matter what area of the island they inhabit, these animals sleep under rocks or in caves, logs or burrows. The cartoon Tasmanian devil does have one thing in common with the real creature: poor temperament.
Architectura & Natura - Tasmanian Devil - A Unique and Threatened Animal
When the devil feels threatened, it goes into a rage in which it growls, lunges and bares its teeth. It may be due to this temper that the Tasmanian devil is a solitary creature. The Tasmanian devil is also nocturnal; it sleeps during the day and is awake at night. Most of the time, they eat birds, snakes, fish and insects. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Condition: New.
Seller Inventory n. More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Condition: New. The story of the Tasmanian Devil is a remarkable one - surprising, controversial, funny and tragic. Nor has it been told before. Few mammals have been so negatively named, but this book ca.
Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory Language: English. Brand new Book. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Tasmanian Devil , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 30, Tim Martin rated it really liked it Shelves: nature , reviewed. After the introduction the first chapters of the book focus on the animal's natural history, the authors taking care to dispel popularly held myths about the animal.
Devils are opportunistic feeders, eating live prey and carrion as well as invertebrates, fruit, and vegetation. A solitary hunter, they aren't fast enough to chase down wallabies or rabbits but do go after wombats though some researchers have reported that they can chase prey at about 12 kilometers per hour for short bursts. They have tremendous jaw strength and powerful teeth that enable them to consume gristle, skin, and shatter bones the equivalent of a dog four times their size or for their body mass more powerful than a tiger's.
Though usually solitary, devils feed communally on particularly large carcasses. Often described as being some sort of free-for-all with lots of screaming and apparent fighting, devils in fact have elaborate vocalizations and postures to maintain order and some speculate that just as the sight of daylight-circling vultures attracts other vultures the noises devils make may serve to alert other devils in the area to a large food source.
Andrew Isles Natural History Books
The first arrival is the dominant feeder, making way for a challenger once it has gorged itself, the feeder defending only the amount of food it needs, not the entire carcass. Devils will generally seek to take what they can and hide with their share, consuming it in peace. Though maligned by ranchers, the devils are the "great hygienists" of the Tasmanian bush. They consume dead and dying livestock and have been credited with breaking the sheep tapeworm cycle and keeping down blowfly populations. Another social trait of devils is that of the communal latrine.
Though most of the time devils are solitary animals, depending upon population size, dozens of devils will defecate in one area, "for reasons of communication barely understood, and further calling into question the "solitary" tag. The authors go on to compare interesting examples of convergence with wolverines as well, looking at sense of smell, skull structure, markings both devils and wolverines have white neck and throat patches , body posture, locomotion, and diet.
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The evolution and fossil record of the Tasmanian devil are discussed also. Scientists have speculated whether the modern devil is a dwarfed version of this species or if it coexisted with the larger extinct version. Some believe that several different-sized devils occupied a range of predator-scavenger niches.
Devils apparently went extinct on the mainland as recently as years ago for reasons unknown, though climatic issues and the introduction of the dingo are most often blamed. The authors go into detail about the history of the study of these animals. The animal was known only to the island's indigenous inhabitants up until , when Europeans started to settle what was then known as Van Diemen's Land.
George Prideaux Harris was the first to scientifically describe the devil in A chapter of course is spent on the history of the famous Warner Brothers cartoon character Taz. This "whirling, brown, slobbering creature" has vast international recognition, far beyond that of the real animal. Some have speculated that Warner Brothers studios had another Tasmanian in mind when they created the character, Errol Flynn son of the aforementioned Dr.
Flynn , who worked for the studio. Errol Flynn in his autobiography even titled the first chapter "Tasmanian Devil, ". It would seem that that was merely coincidence as the authors provide the history of the development of the character for all his fame only five Taz cartoons were made between and until his resurrection and of the legal battles involving the character Warner Brothers had trademarked the name Tasmanian Devil, a fact that has bothered and hampered many Tasmanians' use of their iconic animal in economic matters and in promoting tourism.
From the earliest days Europeans regarded the devil, along with the thylacine, as "stock-destroying vermin" and sought to trap, poison, and shoot them into extinction.
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Later researchers showed that neither species was to blame for livestock losses on the island instead one could point at poor management and farming practices as well as packs of feral dogs , but "bush myths" proliferated that they would hunt sheep and even people though in reality not preying upon healthy sheep and only consuming murder and suicide victims, the devils never having been known to kill anyone.
While enormous strides had been made in protecting devils from persecution, in Dutch wildlife photographer Christo Baars noted ghastly facial growths on devils he photographed and by researchers came to realize many areas were experiencing a serious decline in devils thanks to the spread of Devil Facial Tumor Disease DFTD , a virulent facial cancer that kills within five months of its manifestation. Poorly understood, some researchers believed it was a naturally occurring retrovirus, one that perhaps had caused devil population crashes in the past, perhaps triggered by pesticide or fertilizer chemicals or the rabbit-killing calicivirus, while others think it may have jumped species, perhaps from feral cats, to the devils.
Attempts to save the devils have been complicated by political infighting over conservation and research funds, difficulty in diagnosis of the disease, and feral cats and foxes filing the emptying devil niche. Attempts to quarantine the devils to small islands have met with numerous obstacles as well.
Jun 08, Siobhan O'Neill rated it it was amazing. This was very insightful.
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