This is the first book published on the animal that has the distinction of being the world's largest marsupial carnivore, and it is packed with information that has never before been accessible to the general reader. The story of the Tasmanian devil is a remarkable one - surprising, controversial, funny, and tragic. Few mammals have been so negatively named, but this book aims to reveal the true nature of the Tasmanian devil. Far from being a scavenging, ferocious oddity, it is a treasured and valuable wildlife species, and one that faces the threat of extinction. It was in 1803 that a boatload of convicts, English officers and sailors gave the Tasmanian devil its name. Now, for the first time since Europeans first encountered this intriguing and misunderstood animal, the devil's story is being told.
David Owen is the author of nine novels, most of which are set in Tasmania. He is the editor of the Australian literary journal Island and the author of Thylacine: The tragic tale of the Tasmanian tiger. David Pemberton is the Vertebrate Curator at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Beelzebub's pup: A reappraisal of the Tasmanian devil; 2. Evolution and extinction; 3. Relationships in the wild; 4. 'Made for travelling rough': devil ecology; 5. Devils and Europeans, 1803-1933; 6. In the matter of the Society and the Board; 7. From Antichrist to the ambassador; 8. In captivity; 9. 'The spinning animal from Tasmania'; 10. Owning the devil: Tasmania and Warner Bros.; 11. Devil Facial Tumour Disease; Notes; Select bibliography; Index