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Improved facilities for off-road recreational drivers at Adamsfield

19/02/2015

A new day use shelter providing improved facilities for off-road recreational drivers has been completed at Adamsfield in the Adamsfield Conservation Area, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.More

Mystery of Risso's dolphin strandings continues

11/02/2015

The mystery of multiple strandings of Risso's dolphins on Australia's eastern seaboard continues with another Risso's dolphin being found dead at a remote part of Reidle Bay on Maria Island.More

Volunteer caretakers lend a welcome hand

06/02/2015

Volunteer caretakers at Cape Bruny, the Bruny Island Quarantine Station, Cockle Creek and Melaleuca have all reported bumper visitor numbers during the peak holiday period.More

Carnivorous marsupials

The family Dasyuridae includes the well-known Tasmanian devil, eastern quolls (native cats), spotted-tailed quolls (tiger cats) and antechinuses (marsupial mice). The closely-related Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, also a carnivorous marsupial, is classified in its own family, Thylacinidae.

Over forty species have been described from Australia and New Guinea. Six occur in Tasmania:

The carnivorous marsupials are among the most impressive of hunting mammals. However, their smaller size, nocturnal habits and cryptic behaviour often leaves them overshadowed in the popular imagination by the conspicuous carnivores of Africa and Asia, such as leopards, tigers and lions.

As with all marsupials, the carnivorous species possess a pouch, although in some species, the pouch is little more than a mere fold. Typically, the young are carried within the pouch until such time that they are literally being dragged along the ground while the mother hunts. At this stage, the young are generally left in a den (such as a hollow log) while the mother hunts.

Most of the members of this family are small, about the size of a rat. Tasmania has the distinction of being home to the four largest carnivorous marsupials in the world.