When settlers first arrived in Australia, they would have encountered many new species which they had never seen before. These new extraordinary animals were fascinating to the settlers, while some were also terrifying. One species that put fear into the settlers was the Tasmanian devil, and it would have had newcomers trembling in fear. Their terrifying screams would have filled the air and have the imagination running wild with notions of devils and various other evil incarnations.
Despite its fearsome reputation, the Tasmanian devil is too small to pose a threat to people and is certainly not a devil. If anything, they would much rather keep well clear of us. To other animals in their range, however, they are savage predators and are capable of taking down prey larger than themselves. With a high metabolism, they have huge appetites which help them to get all the fuel and nutrition they need. They are not at all fussy when it comes to eating and will feed on carrion should they get the opportunity to do so.
These feisty creatures have long been the subject of myth and legend, but researchers have tried to find out the truth about them. In doing so, they have uncovered a number of fascinating facts.
Tasmanian Devil Fact #10: Marsupials
They may look nothing like kangaroos or koalas, but the Tasmanian devil is very much in the same family. Marsupials have been living in Australia and the surrounding area for millions of years. As such, they have diverged considerably in evolutionary terms, with each species adapting to fulfill a particular niche. The Tasmanian devil has adapted rather differently to most other marsupials, resulting in their quite differing appearance. While most marsupials are generally gentle herbivores, the Tasmanian devil is nothing of the sort.
Regardless of physical appearances, the Tasmanian devil still shares many similarities with other marsupials. One of those being that the Tasmanian devil has a pouch in which the young can find protection as they develop. Marsupials are also mammals which means that among other things, they feed milk to their young. They are currently found in Tasmania, which is an island state of Australia.
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