Two representations have dominated public perceptions of the largest living marsupial carnivore, the Tasmanian devil. One is the voracious, hurricane-like innocent savage Taz of Looney Tunes cartoon fame. The other, familiar in nineteenth- and twentieth-century rural Tasmania, is the ferocious predator and scavenger that wantonly kills livestock — and perhaps even people, should they become immobilized in the wilderness at night. Devils can take prey nearly three times their size and eat more than a third of their body weight in a sitting. Even so, it is hard to imagine how this species, being only slightly larger than a fox terrier, could be so maligned in name and image..
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.