Tasmanian devil

Tas·ma·nian devil

noun \(ˌ)taz-ˈmā-nē-ən-, -nyən-\


:  a heavily built carnivorous nocturnal Tasmanian marsupial (Sarcophilus harrisii) that is about the size of a badger and has powerful jaws and teeth and a chiefly black coat marked with white on the chest

First Known Use of TASMANIAN DEVIL

circa 1867

Tasmanian devil

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii).—John Yates/Shostal Associates

Marsupial species (Sarcophilus harrisii or S. ursinus, family Dasyuridae), now extinct on the Australian mainland, that survives in remote rocky areas of Tasmania. It is 30–40 in. (75–100 cm) long, with a stocky body, large head and jaws, and long bushy tail. The coat is usually black and brown with a white-marked breast. Named for its devilish expression and husky snarl, it is mainly a scavenger of wallaby and sheep carcasses but also eats beetle larvae and occasionally poultry. Its three or four young remain in the mother's pouch about five months.


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