Tasmanian Devils – Yes, They Do Run In Circles All Day

Tasmanian Devils are one of the most popular animals in the world and have been made famous thanks to the many generations of children who have grown up with the cartoon character Taz from Looney Tunes on their TV screens.

Tasmanian Devils - Yes, They Do Run In Circles All Day

However when it comes to the actual Tasmanian Devils, are they actually similar to Taz at all in the way that they behave and act?

Perhaps the biggest question of all when it comes to Tasmanian Devils, is do they actually run around in circles all day?

This question is popular because it’s one of Taz’s key characteristics, he runs around in circles and creates a small tornado wherever he goes. 

Unsurprisingly, real Tasmanian Devils don’t create small tornados whenever they happen to run, but yes, they do actually run in circles sometimes!

So, if you want to find out more about Tasmanian Devils, and why they happen to run in circles so often,then keep reading onwards and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these funny marsupials

What Is A Tasmanian Devil?

For those out there who might not be entirely sure what a Tasmanian Devil is, allow us to explain more about these incredible creatures! 

Tasmanian Devils are a type of marsupial mammal known all around the world for its feisty and aggressive behavior.

These creatures typically have a brown or black coarse fur coating, as well as a unique profile thanks to their stocky build, which people often mistake for a bear cub at first glance!

However, once you spot the white patch of fur that is so often found on their chests it becomes a lot easier to tell them apart. 

Their aggressiveness is also reaffirmed by their bite, as pound for pound, they have one of the strongest bites of any mammal on earth, which is all thanks to their super muscular jaw!

This muscular jaw is put to use frequently, as they use it to help them catch and eat their prey. 

Speaking of prey, Tasmanian Devils will typically feast upon small mammals, or dead animals that they find, which are known as carrion, and they’re by no means fussy eaters either, in fact, they’re voracious eaters, and are known to eat absolutely every part of their prey, including the organs, hair, and bones of whatever poor creature they manage to catch. 

Because they’re nocturnal, it means that Tasmanian Devils spend most of the daylight hours in burrows, caves, or even hollowed logs, alone, before then emerging once darkness comes, this is because these marsupials are blessed with both incredible senses of sight and smell, which makes it much easier for them to hunt their prey during the night time!

Tasmanian devils are actually an endangered species, at first, they were nearly culled by farmers as the animal was preying on farm animals, and since then they have also suffered significant amounts of population loss due to a terrible disease known as DFTD (Devil Facial Tumor Disease), which has seen their numbers drop as low as 20,000 in recent years.

So all efforts are now focused on ensuring the survival of these iconic creatures.

Thankfully, there are numerous organizations and programs working to help to conserve and re-grow this amazing species to ensure they’re prevented from going extinct. 

Of course, these animals are known all too well for being the inspiration for the character of Taz in the iconic cartoon series Looney Tunes, which means that many people will have questions about Taz’s real-life counterparts! 

Are Tasmanian Devils Really Like Taz?

On screen, Taz is an absolutely crazy character, whirling around in a tornado, always hungry and looking for something to eat, and quite often angry too!

But is this actually that accurate of a representation of real-life Tasmanian Devils?

Well, it turns out that the real Tasmanian Devils aren’t too dissimilar to Taz, as they’re quite feisty and aggressive animals who are often hunting for food.

They’re also the largest carnivorous marsupials on the planet, and they can grow to be anywhere from 20 to 31 inches in height, and up to 26 pounds in weight, so they’re not small by any means!

You might be wondering where the “Devil” in their name comes from, and as it happens, the answer certainly helps you to understand why Taz acts the way he does on the screen!

This is because when European explorers first found their way to Tasmania, they encountered these wild marsupials for the first time, and were then subjected to horrendous hissing and screeching, which is why they were promptly known as Devils! 

This hissing and aggression is likely where the inspiration for Taz to be such a nonsensical maniac on screen came from, and other characters are often seen trying to run away from him due to his destructive nature! 

However, aside from his slobbering and his aggressive nature, Taz’s main characteristic is that he runs in circles, creating a tornado in order to destroy things, and whilst we obviously know that a Tasmanian Devil can’t create a tornado in real life, it does leave many people wondering whether or not running in circles is something that Tasmanian Devils actually do in real life.

Do Tasmanian Devils Run In Circles?

Running in circles is in fact something that Tasmanian Devils do, but the chances of you seeing it are rare.

This is because seeing a Tasmanian Devil in the wild is rare enough as it is, mainly because they’re only found on the island of Tasmania, and also because they’re nocturnal too, so chances are that most humans wouldn’t have the chance to encounter these animals if they were in Tasmania. So seeing a Tasmanian Devil run around in circles in the wild is rare. 

However, if you happen to go to a zoo and there are Tasmanian Devils there, then you might get to see a Tasmanian Devil spinning around in circles, as apparently this is common behavior for the animals whilst kept in captivity. 

Typically, Tasmanian Devils will only begin to spin around in circles when it has been threatened by another animal, they will then lunge at their potential attacker, as well as shrieking, hissing, and flashing their super sharp teeth in order to help deter the attacker from fighting them.

As you can see then, much like Taz’s aggression and maniacal nature draw a lot of inspiration from the wildness and crazy tendencies of the real-life Tasmanian Devils, it seems that the inspiration for his running around in circles also came from real-life Tasmanian Devil behavior too! 


As you can see, Taz’s actions and behaviors do take a lot of inspiration from his real life counterparts, the Tasmanian Devil.

This includes the spinning around, which does happen when a Tasmanian Devil believes that it is under threat from a potential predator.

Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, real life Tasmanian Devils can’t quite turn into a tornado when they run in circles like Taz does!

Olivia Kepner