The Bite as Bad as the Bark

(Andrew) When driving around in Tasmania we stopped at a random place called “Nature World.” We got out and investigated, it was basically a zoo filled with Tasmanian and Australian native animals. We figured out that Tasmanian Devil feeding time was at 12:30, clock check, it was 11:30, so we had an hour to look at other animals including wallabies, wombats and koalas.

First of all, the Tasmanian Devils look absolutely nothing like Taz, the character from Looney Tunes. They are the size of a small bulldog, but black and more rodent like. They have two white stripes; one on their neck and one on their upper rump. They have extremely sharp teeth, and can open their jaws up to 90 degrees to crush bones. Their bite is even 4 to 5 times the strength of a comparably sized dog. They are mainly scavengers, which is their main problem. The road kill, which is heaven for Devils, attracts them. They eat the road kill in the middle of the road, so they often get hit by cars.

We then made it over to the feeding area. The ranger threw a full carcass, and we got to see them fighting extremely aggressively over it. By the time that the two Devils realized that they could share, the carcass was ripped apart but still they ate it all, including internal organs, eyes, skin, fur/feathers, and bones. So they are the trash collectors of Tasmania, nothing gets left behind. Tasmanian Devils are called “Devils” because: a.) at night their ears and eyes glow red in torch light, b.) they make a terrible screeching noise as seen in the video. So imagine you’re an early explorer in the dark and all you can see is glowing red and all you can hear is that terrible sound. Great namesake right??

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4 Responses to “The Bite as Bad as the Bark”

  1. It must been really cool seeing Tasmanian
    Devils! They look kid of cute, but it is gross to fight over a dead thing. Hope you having a good time!!!

    Carly:)

  2. AWESOME!!!! Great post, Andrew! I’m glad you all decided to pop out at this spot and see the little guys. It’s also neat to think about what animals fill the scavenger niche in different ecosystems. Devils are the clean-up crew just like hyenas and vultures in Africa. They seem just as excited about arguing over dinner as other scavengers, too, huh?

    Sounds like you’re an Aussie, now- “torch” as opposed to “flashlight.” Jen would be so proud!

  3. So, how did you get the TAZ pix….great info why it is call the Taz Devil….never knew that. Amazing the importance of the scavengers in each of the ecosystems. I call myself the scavenger of the shopping world, as I look for bargains!!!!!!
    Hugs to all!!!!!
    xoxo bibi

  4. Dear Andrew,
    That was a really creative post! I really like how you added the picture and I loved the description of the tasmanian devils! Waht has been your favorite part of the trip so far?
    Keep Posting!
    Sophie