In some respects, this tough little carnivore resembles a small bear. Tasmanian devils usually weigh between 6 and 10 kg (13 to 22 lb.).
The Tasmanian devil received its common name from the early immigrant settlers on whose poultry and other small stock it often preyed. In the wild, its main food supply consists of small wallabies and kangaroos, birds, lizards, snakes (including poisonous ones), and probably frogs and crayfish. Its reputation as an aggressive killer of often much larger prey appears to be unfounded. It is likely the reputation developed because of the animals' fondness for carrion.
When excited, the pale ears gradually turn red. Despite its ferocious reputation, the little "devils" are playful, and have proven to be easily tamed. These animals are generally very clean, are fond of water, and love to bask in the sun.
Today they are found only on the Australian island of Tasmania, but they are still fairly common there and are protected by the government.