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Tasmanian Devil Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Come learn about the Tasmanian devil! This lesson will teach you some cool facts about these interesting animals, how they got their name, where they are found, how they live and what they eat.

What is a Tasmanian Devil?

Imagine you are on a far-away island and are walking near the coast. The quiet, starry night is suddenly pierced by loud, vicious screams, snarls and growls in the distance! You've never heard anything like it before! You're listening to Tasmanian devils eating dinner!

You may have seen a Tasmanian devil running around in cartoons, but the real ones are even more interesting, and they aren't really devils. A Tasmanian devil is a small, fierce, mostly black animal with strong jaws and sharp teeth. They only weigh between 9 and 26 pounds, which is about the same as a small dog.

Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian devil on a Log

These animals are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. During the day, they rest in places like burrows, tree logs and caves.

Tasmanian devils got their name because they are vicious when fighting, have creepy growls when hunting, and bone-chilling screams when they are in a group eating!

While they are very good at fighting and defending themselves, they would rather run away from danger. They don't hunt and attack people, but they will protect themselves, so they should be left alone. You can tell when a Tasmanian devil is upset because the skin in its ears turns bright red!

Tasmanian Devil Whose Ears Have Turned Red
Tasmanian Devil with Red Ears

Where Do Tasmanian Devils Live?

The only place you're likely to see a Tasmanian devil in the U.S. is at a zoo. Tasmanian devils are only found in the wild on a small island off the continent of Australia called Tasmania. They like the forests and scrublands near the coast and are mostly found in those areas.

Tasmanian devils are marsupials, which are animals that carry their babies in a pouch of skin on the mother's stomach. Just like baby kangaroos do! They stay in there for 4 months before coming out and hitching a ride on her back!

When they are young, Tasmanian devils are very good at climbing trees! As they get older and bigger, they aren't very good climbers anymore. Just like young Tasmanian devils, you are probably better at climbing trees than your mom or dad.

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