Tasmanian Devil Trivia

Tasmanian Devil

Do you think you know the Tasmanian devil? Test your knowledge of Tasmanian devil FaunaFacts with this trivia quiz!

Click on an answer choice to receive instant feedback. Red answers are incorrect, but allow you to continue guessing. Green answers are correct and will provide additional explanatory information. Sometimes more than one answer is correct!

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Tasmanian devils are endemic to what continent?
Australia
Currently, Tasmanian devils are found only in Tasmania, although widespread fossil evidence suggests that they once occupied much of the Australian mainland.
Asia
Africa
North America
What is the Tasmanian devil’s diet?
Carnivorous
Tasmanian devils are carnivorous hunters and mainly scavenge for their food, but will feed on whatever is available, either as carrion or prey.
Herbivorous
Omnivorous
What is the greatest recent threat to Tasmanian devils?
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD)
The greatest recent threat to Tasmanian devils across Tasmania is Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD). In September 2006, the Tasmanian devil disease was gazetted under the Animal Health Act as a List B notifiable disease.
Food Availability
Habitat Loss
Persecution
Where do Tasmanian devils nest?
Burrows
Tasmanian devil dens are typically located in hollow logs, caves, or burrows.
Caves
Tasmanian devil dens are typically located in hollow logs, caves, or burrows.
Hollow Logs
Tasmanian devil dens are typically located in hollow logs, caves, or burrows.
Trees
What features allow the Tasmanian devil to crush bones and tear through thick muscle and skin?
Heavy Molar Teeth
The head of the Tasmanian devil is massive and broad with well-developed jaw muscles. The Tasmanian devil’s big, strong molar teeth are heavy and adapted for their role in crushing bone and tearing through muscle and thick skin. Tasmanian devils are ferocious when attacked and because they are impressively armed with heavy jaw musculature and robust teeth, they are able to protect themselves against larger predators.
Well-Developed Jaw Muscles
The head of the Tasmanian devil is massive and broad with well-developed jaw muscles. The Tasmanian devil’s big, strong molar teeth are heavy and adapted for their role in crushing bone and tearing through muscle and thick skin. Tasmanian devils are ferocious when attacked and because they are impressively armed with heavy jaw musculature and robust teeth, they are able to protect themselves against larger predators.
Massive Head
The head of the Tasmanian devil is massive and broad with well-developed jaw muscles. The Tasmanian devil’s big, strong molar teeth are heavy and adapted for their role in crushing bone and tearing through muscle and thick skin. Tasmanian devils are ferocious when attacked and because they are impressively armed with heavy jaw musculature and robust teeth, they are able to protect themselves against larger predators.
Robust Jawline
The head of the Tasmanian devil is massive and broad with well-developed jaw muscles. The Tasmanian devil’s big, strong molar teeth are heavy and adapted for their role in crushing bone and tearing through muscle and thick skin. Tasmanian devils are ferocious when attacked and because they are impressively armed with heavy jaw musculature and robust teeth, they are able to protect themselves against larger predators.
The Tasmanian devil is what kind of animal?
Marsupial
After the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), the Tasmanian devil is the largest native, mammalian predator on Tasmania and the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial.
Herpestid
Mustelid
Rodent
Tasmanian devils are territorial.
False
Although Tasmanian devils are not territorial, they stay within relatively small home ranges.
True
What feature led to the origin of the Tasmanian devil’s name?
Unearthly Screams
The Tasmanian devil got its name from early European settlers who upon hearing mysterious unearthly screams, coughs, and growls from the bush, decided to investigate further. Finding the dog-like animal with red ears, wide jaws and big, sharp teeth led them to call it “The Devil”.
Black & White Colors
Threatening Gape
Stocky, Robust Body
What is the average lifespan of a wild Tasmanian devil?
5 Years
Tasmanian devils most often live to a maximum of five-years-old in the wild, but they can live up to seven or eight years. Most young die immediately after dispersing out of their natal range as a result of food scarcity or competition.
1 Year
3 Years
10 Years
What is the population trend of the Tasmanian devil?
Decreasing
Populations in which DFTD has been observed for several years have declined by up to 80% (approximate, due to low sample size in recent years). There is no evidence to date of the decline in devils stopping or the prevalence of the disease decreasing, but monitoring teams continue to assess Tasmanian devil populations as DFTD spreads.
Increasing
Stable
Unknown
As in many dasyurids, Tasmanian devils store fat in their tails.
True
As in many dasyurids, Tasmanian devils store their fat in their tails.
False
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) is a transferrable cancer for Tasmanian devils, passed through contact.
True
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) is passed from Tasmanian devil to Tasmanian devil through physical contact, including biting associated with copulation and fighting. Because this transferrable cancer is passed through biting, it is mostly passed on during the breeding season.
False
Tasmanian devils are carnivorous scavengers and feed primarily on carrion.
True
Tasmanian devils are carnivorous hunters and mainly scavenge for their food, but will feed on whatever is available, either as carrion or prey. They take most of their large prey in the form of carrion.
False
Tasmanian devils can sport white markings on the throat, chest, sides, and rump.
True
Tasmanian devils have a white throat patch, white spots on their sides and backside, and a pinkish snout.
False
In diseased areas, nearly all sexually mature Tasmanian devils, older than two years of age, become infected and succumb to Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).
True
In diseased areas, nearly all sexually mature Tasmanian devils, older than two years of age, become infected and succumb to the disease.
False
Tasmanian devils are considered a nuisance.
True
Today, the Tasmanian devil is a Tasmanian icon, but they are sometimes considered nuisance animals.
False
Tasmanian devils are common livestock predators, especially on animals such as sheep.
False
Tasmanian devils have been considered livestock predators, especially on animals such as sheep. Although this is unlikely, they have been known to kill poultry. In reality, these carnivorous marsupials take most of their large prey in the form of carrion.
True
Tasmanian devils take what animals as prey, in the form of carrion?
Rabbits
These carnivorous marsupials take most of their large prey, such as wombats, wallabies, sheep, and rabbits, in the form of carrion.
Wombats
These carnivorous marsupials take most of their large prey, such as wombats, wallabies, sheep, and rabbits, in the form of carrion.
Wallabies
These carnivorous marsupials take most of their large prey, such as wombats, wallabies, sheep, and rabbits, in the form of carrion.
Sheep
These carnivorous marsupials take most of their large prey, such as wombats, wallabies, sheep, and rabbits, in the form of carrion.
Male Tasmanian devils compete for access to breeding females and temporarily subdue females while mating.
True
Male Tasmanian devils compete for access to breeding females. During the breed season, a female will invite a male into her den to signal that she’s ready to mate. The male will drag the female into the den by the neck, but the female’s neck has thickened to protect her from the male’s vicious teeth. Once inside the den, the female will become completely submissive, appearing sedated and allowing the male to position her by the neck wherever he pleases.
False
Tasmanian devils produce a strong odor when under stress, but when calm and relaxed they are not smelly.
True
Tasmanian devils produce a strong odor when under stress, but when calm and relaxed they are not smelly.
False
The Tasmanian devil is the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial.
True
After the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), the Tasmanian devil is the largest native, mammalian predator on Tasmania and the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial.
False
Tasmanian devils almost went extinct until they were protected by law in what year?
1941
For more than a century, Tasmanian devils were trapped and poisoned. They became very rare, seemingly headed for extinction, but the population gradually increased after they were protected by law in June 1941.
1841
1914
2014
What animals are natural predators for the Tasmanian devil?
Eagles
Small Tasmanian devils may fall prey to eagles (Accipitridae), owls (Strigiformes), and spotted tail quolls (Dasyurus maculatus).
Owls
Small Tasmanian devils may fall prey to eagles (Accipitridae), owls (Strigiformes), and spotted tail quolls (Dasyurus maculatus).
Quolls
Small Tasmanian devils may fall prey to eagles (Accipitridae), owls (Strigiformes), and spotted tail quolls (Dasyurus maculatus).
Possums
Tasmanian devils hate water.
False
Tasmanian devils are very good swimmers. They will often dabble in water with their front paws, somewhat in the manner of racoons. Tasmanian devils will sometimes store food in water and can even take a breath and “duck dive”.
True
What does the Tasmanian devil’s famous threatening gape signify?
Fear
The famous gape or yawn of the Tasmanian devil that looks so threatening, can be misleading. This display is performed more from fear and uncertainty than from aggression.
Aggression
Breeding Display
Dominance
Tasmanian devils are the only animals that can be infected with Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).
True
Of the known transmissible cancers, two are found in Tasmanian devils, three in five different species of bivalves, and one in dogs.
False
Tasmanian devils exhibit sexual dimorphism.
True, Males are Larger
Female Tasmanian devils are slightly smaller than males.
True, Females are Larger
False
What is the Tasmanian devil listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
Endangered
In late 2008, the Tasmanian devil was up-listed to ‘Endangered’ on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) – widely considered the most authoritative system for classifying species in terms of their risk of extinction.
Vulnerable
Critically Endangered
Extinct in the Wild
Tasmanian devils are one of how many species that can contract a contagious cancer?
7
Currently, we know of transmissible cancers spreading through natural animal populations in seven species across vertebrate and invertebrate organisms and in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
2
14
21
Tasmanian devils are usually social.
False
Tasmanian devils are usually solitary.
True
With what do Tasmanian devils construct their nests?
Bark
Both males and female Tasmanian devils make simple nests of bark, grass, and leaves, which they inhabit throughout the day. Their dens are typically located in hollow logs, caves, or burrows.
Grass
Both males and female Tasmanian devils make simple nests of bark, grass, and leaves, which they inhabit throughout the day. Their dens are typically located in hollow logs, caves, or burrows.
Leaves
Both males and female Tasmanian devils make simple nests of bark, grass, and leaves, which they inhabit throughout the day.
Fur
The Tasmanian devil is an important apex predator in Tasmania.
True
Tasmanian devils are important top, apex predators in native, Tasmanian ecosystems. As scavengers, they are important in removing carcasses.
False
Many of the Tasmanian devil’s aggressive behaviors are bluff.
True
Many of the Tasmanian devil’s auditory and display behaviors are bluff and part of a ritual to minimize harmful fighting when feeding communally at a large carcass.
False
What endangers the Tasmanian devil?
Competition
Traditionally Tasmanian devil numbers were controlled by food availability, competition with other devils and quolls, loss of habitat, persecution and vehicular strike, but the greatest recent threat to devils across Tasmania is the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).
Habitat Loss
Traditionally Tasmanian devil numbers were controlled by food availability, competition with other devils and quolls, loss of habitat, persecution and vehicular strike, but the greatest recent threat to devils across Tasmania is the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).
Vehicular Strike
Traditionally Tasmanian devil numbers were controlled by food availability, competition with other devils and quolls, loss of habitat, persecution and vehicular strike, but the greatest recent threat to devils across Tasmania is the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).
Food Availability
Traditionally Tasmanian devil numbers were controlled by food availability, competition with other devils and quolls, loss of habitat, persecution and vehicular strike, but the greatest recent threat to devils across Tasmania is the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).
What distance does a Tasmanian devil travel, on average, in one night, in search of food?
3 km (1.9 m)
Tasmanian devils can roam considerable distances, up to 16 kilometers, along well-defined trails in search of food and average 3.2 kilometers, or 2 miles, traveled in a night in search of food.
1 km (0.6 m)
5 km (3.1 m)
10 km (6.2 m)
How much have Tasmanian devil populations declined due to Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD)?
80%
Populations in which DFTD has been observed for several years have declined by up to 80% (approximate, due to low sample size in recent years).
10%
30%
50%
Tasmanian devils have a slender, narrow build.
False
Tasmanian devils have a stocky, thick-set, squat build with a brownish, black pelage.
True
Fossil evidence suggests that Tasmanian devils once occupied much of the Australian mainland.
True
Currently, Tasmanian devils are found only in Tasmania, although widespread fossil evidence suggests that they once occupied much of the Australian mainland.
False
Tasmanian devils are protected in Tasmania.
True
Tasmanian devils are protected in Tasmania.
False
Like many other dasyurids, the Tasmanian devil’s marsupial pouch is open when breeding.
False
Unlike many other dasyurids, the Tasmanian devil’s marsupial pouch is completely closed when breeding.
True
How is Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) spread amongst Tasmanian devils?
Biting
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) is passed from Tasmanian devil to Tasmanian devil through physical contact, including biting associated with copulation and fighting. Because this transferrable cancer is passed through biting, it is mostly passed on during the breeding season.
Copulation
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) is passed from Tasmanian devil to Tasmanian devil through physical contact, including biting associated with copulation and fighting. Because this transferrable cancer is passed through biting, it is mostly passed on during the breeding season.
Fighting
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) is passed from Tasmanian devil to Tasmanian devil through physical contact, including biting associated with copulation and fighting. Because this transferrable cancer is passed through biting, it is mostly passed on during the breeding season.
Birth
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) only affects the Tasmanian devil’s face.
False
The tumors are first noticed in and around the mouth as small lesions or lumps, then develop into large tumors around the face and neck and sometimes even in other parts of the body. Badly affected devils have many tumors throughout the body.
True
Female Tasmanian devils will mate with multiple males in order to improve their chances of producing healthy offspring.
True
Females will mate with multiple males in order to improve their chances of producing healthy offspring.
False
In what habitats do Tasmanian devils reside?
Caves
Despite the decline in numbers since the early 1990s, populations of Tasmanian devils remain widespread in Tasmania from the coast to the caves and mountains. They are most numerous in coastal heath, shrubland, grassland, and rangeland areas where agricultural practices maintain a constant supply of carrion. They also occur in open, dry schlerophyll forest and mixed schlerophyll-rainforest.
Forest
Despite the decline in numbers since the early 1990s, populations of Tasmanian devils remain widespread in Tasmania from the coast to the caves and mountains. They are most numerous in coastal heath, shrubland, grassland, and rangeland areas where agricultural practices maintain a constant supply of carrion. They also occur in open, dry schlerophyll forest and mixed schlerophyll-rainforest.
Grassland
Despite the decline in numbers since the early 1990s, populations of Tasmanian devils remain widespread in Tasmania from the coast to the caves and mountains. They are most numerous in coastal heath, shrubland, grassland, and rangeland areas where agricultural practices maintain a constant supply of carrion. They also occur in open, dry schlerophyll forest and mixed schlerophyll-rainforest.
Shrubland
Despite the decline in numbers since the early 1990s, populations of Tasmanian devils remain widespread in Tasmania from the coast to the caves and mountains. They are most numerous in coastal heath, shrubland, grassland, and rangeland areas where agricultural practices maintain a constant supply of carrion. They also occur in open, dry schlerophyll forest and mixed schlerophyll-rainforest.
What is the Tasmanian devil’s rhythm?
Nocturnal
Tasmanian devils are generally nocturnal, but they may be seen sunbathing during the day in quiet areas. They typically inhabit their dens and dense bushes throughout the day.
Diurnal
Cathemeral
Crepuscular
Tasmanian devils gallop with both hind feet together.
True
Tasmanian devils usually amble slowly with a characteristic gait but can gallop quickly with both hind feet together. They tend to forage with a slow, lumbering manner using their sense of smell to find food at night.
False
At what size are Tasmanian devils born?
Grain of Rice
Because Tasmanian devils are marsupials, their young are born as external embryos, just the size of a grain of rice, and must find their own way into the mother’s pouch.
Green Pea
Blueberry
Peach
How are Tasmanian devils important members of functioning ecosystems?
Clean Up Carcasses
The value of Tasmanian devils as important members of functioning ecosystems and as scavengers probably outweighs any negative effect of these animals on humans. Tasmanian devils maintain bush and farm hygiene by cleaning up carcasses. This can help reduce the risk of blowfly strike to sheep by removing food for maggots.
Maintain Bush & Farm Hygeine
The value of Tasmanian devils as important members of functioning ecosystems and as scavengers probably outweighs any negative effect of these animals on humans. Tasmanian devils maintain bush and farm hygiene by cleaning up carcasses. This can help reduce the risk of blowfly strike to sheep by removing food for maggots.
Reduce Risk of Blowfly Strike
The value of Tasmanian devils as important members of functioning ecosystems and as scavengers probably outweighs any negative effect of these animals on humans. Tasmanian devils maintain bush and farm hygiene by cleaning up carcasses. This can help reduce the risk of blowfly strike to sheep by removing food for maggots.
Remove Food for Maggots
The value of Tasmanian devils as important members of functioning ecosystems and as scavengers probably outweighs any negative effect of these animals on humans. Tasmanian devils maintain bush and farm hygiene by cleaning up carcasses. This can help reduce the risk of blowfly strike to sheep by removing food for maggots.
What mating system do Tasmanian devils generally partake?
Polygynandry
The mating system of the Tasmanian devil is polygynandrous. Male Tasmanian devils compete for access to breeding females while females mate with multiple males in order to improve their chances of producing healthy offspring.
Monogamy
Polygyny
Polyandry
Which of the Tasmanian devil’s senses are keen?
Smell
Tasmanian devils have keen senses of smell, sight, touch, and taste.
Sight
Tasmanian devils have keen senses of smell, sight, touch, and taste.
Touch
Tasmanian devils have keen senses of smell, sight, touch, and taste.
Taste
Tasmanian devils have keen senses of smell, sight, touch, and taste.
What factors determine the body size of the Tasmanian devil?
Age
The body size of the Tasmanian devil varies considerably with diet, habitat, and age.
Diet
The body size of the Tasmanian devil varies considerably with diet, habitat, and age.
Habitat
The body size of the Tasmanian devil varies considerably with diet, habitat, and age.
Birth Order
When was Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) first recorded?
1996
In 1996, many populations of Tasmanian devils were first recorded to be devastated by a new, usually lethal, cancer-like disease called Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) that was spreading rapidly throughout Tasmania.
1969
2006
2016
Thylacines have historically preyed on Tasmanian devils.
True
Adult Tasmanian devils have few natural predators, although Thylacines (Thylacinus cynocephalus) may have preyed on them occasionally
False
When do Tasmanian devils give birth?
Spring
Most Tasmanian devil young are born a month or two after mating, usually in April, after a gestation period of 21 days.
Summer
Fall
Winter
Tasmanian devils can follow a dominance hierarchy.
True
There seems to be a learned dominance hierarchy, at least in captive situations.
False
The Tasmanian devil is the largest, native mammalian predator on Tasmania.
True
After the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), the Tasmanian devil is the largest native, mammalian predator on Tasmania and the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial.
False
Juvenile Tasmanian devils, as young as one year old, can be infected with Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).
True
Juveniles as young as one year old can be infected.
False
Although a Tasmanian devil can give birth to 40 young, how many can survive because of the limited number of mammae in her pouch?
4
Although a Tasmanian devil can give birth to up to 40 young, only a maximum of four can survive per litter because of the limited number of mammae in her pouch. Each female Tasmanian devil has four teats inside her pouch, so only the first four young that firmly attach to one will survive while the rest will starve.
2
12
24
Tasmanian devils are endemic to Tasmania.
True
Currently, Tasmanian devils are found only in Tasmania, although widespread fossil evidence suggests that they once occupied much of the Australian mainland.
False
Tasmanian devils can climb trees.
True
Young Tasmanian devils are agile and can climb trees.
False
Tasmanian devils eat the fur and bones of their prey.
True
Tasmanian devils are efficient scavengers with powerful jaws and teeth they enable them to completely devour their prey, eating even bones and fur.
False
What is a young Tasmanian devil called?
Joey
A young Tasmanian devil is called a joey.
Cub
Kit
Kitten
Tasmanian devils are good swimmers, however if they have young in the pouch, they avoid swimming for more than short distances.
True
Tasmanian devils are very good swimmers, however if they have young in the pouch, they avoid swimming for more than very short distances.
False
Once infected with Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), Tasmanian devils usually have how long to live?
Months
Once infected, devils usually die within a few months of the cancer becoming visible.
Days
Weeks
Years
In 1830, when a bounty scheme was introduced to remove Tasmanian devils, males were more valuable than females.
False
In 1830, the Van Diemen’s Land Company introduced a bounty scheme to remove Tasmanian devils, as well as thylacines (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and wild dogs, from their northwest properties. They offered 2/6 (25 cents) for male devils and 3/6 (35 cents) for females.
True
How long does a Tasmanian devil stay in its mother’s pouch?
3-4 Months
At around three-four months old, the young can open their eyes for the first time and emerge from the mother’s pouch.
1-2 Weeks
1-2 Months
6-8 Months
Tasmanian devils make what sounds?
Coughs
The Tasmanian devil makes a variety of fierce noises, from harsh coughs and snarls to high pitched screeches. They have an especially impressive and frightening screech. Tasmanian devils also vocalize with growls and vibratos when fighting and are regarded with awe because of the blood-curdling shrieks they use when a group is scavenging a carcass. A sharp sneeze is used as a challenge to other devils, and frequently comes before a fight.
Growls
The Tasmanian devil makes a variety of fierce noises, from harsh coughs and snarls to high pitched screeches. They have an especially impressive and frightening screech. Tasmanian devils also vocalize with growls and vibratos when fighting and are regarded with awe because of the blood-curdling shrieks they use when a group is scavenging a carcass. A sharp sneeze is used as a challenge to other devils, and frequently comes before a fight.
Screeches
The Tasmanian devil makes a variety of fierce noises, from harsh coughs and snarls to high pitched screeches. They have an especially impressive and frightening screech. Tasmanian devils also vocalize with growls and vibratos when fighting and are regarded with awe because of the blood-curdling shrieks they use when a group is scavenging a carcass. A sharp sneeze is used as a challenge to other devils, and frequently comes before a fight.
Snarls
The Tasmanian devil makes a variety of fierce noises, from harsh coughs and snarls to high pitched screeches. They have an especially impressive and frightening screech. Tasmanian devils also vocalize with growls and vibratos when fighting and are regarded with awe because of the blood-curdling shrieks they use when a group is scavenging a carcass. A sharp sneeze is used as a challenge to other devils, and frequently comes before a fight.
How many types of Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) have been discovered?
2
There are two types of DFTD cancer, DFTD 1 and 2.
1
4
7
What factors led to the extinction of the Tasmanian devil on the Australian mainland?
Dingos
It is believed the devil became extinct on the mainland some 3,000 years ago, before European settlement. It has been suggested that their absence in many previously occupied areas can be explained by increasing aridity and competition with the introduced dingo. The dingo was prevented from entering Tasmania by the Bass Strait.
Increased Aridity
It is believed the devil became extinct on the mainland some 3,000 years ago, before European settlement. It has been suggested that their absence in many previously occupied areas can be explained by increasing aridity and competition with the introduced dingo. The dingo was prevented from entering Tasmania by the Bass Strait.
European Settlers
Habitat Loss

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