Full documentary about Tasmania, a south of Australian island where we find creatures like the Tasmanian devil and the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine)
Tasmania is an island which lies to south of the Australian continent, from which it became definitively separated around thirteen million years ago. This isolation occurred after thousands of years of shared evolution, meaning that Tasmania has to this day conserved relics of the primeval, universal forest which once stretched right around the world, some 250 million years ago. Australia, along with Tasmania, drifted to east of the Antarctic.
The so–called sea lions and elephant seals belong to the same family, but, despite the name, they are not seals at all.
Here in Tasmania there are huge colonies along the rocky coast, right along the line of the split from Gondwana. The harems of females are protected by large, powerful males, always on the lookout for invaders.
The final refuge of these austral beech trees are precisely in Tierra del Fuego ... and in Tasmania.
Tasmania is an island covered in dense rainforest, where, among the abrupt rises and falls of the landscape, hide creatures which, in the majority of cases exist nowhere else on the planet.
A zoological paradise, with numerous national parks, three of which are considered World Heritage Sites.
After the worst nights in Tasmania, the first white men to explore the island created a legend around the terrible grunts they could hear piercing through the fog. Only a devil could make those noises: The Tasmanian Devil.
This devil is, in fact, the largest carnivorous marsupial in Australia; but he doesn’t deserve his bad reputation.
In reality, it is a shy, not particularly efficient predator, more likely to scavenge than hunt anything down.
And, obviously, the more the stories were retold, the bigger the devil became – a ferocious beast with sharp fangs. So, when people came face to face with one, they believed it was just the devil’s infant, whose fearsome mother lay in hiding in the jungle. The Tasmanian devils are not very sociable creatures.
Compact and vigorous, their ability to adapt, to eat different foods, explains why they have survived reasonably well, despite the colonisation of their territories, unlike what has happened to their relative the Tasmanian tiger.
This little devil, one metre in length, and weighing just eight kilos, nonetheless produces gigantic sperm. The young have a very hard road ahead of them before they reach adulthood, and many of them die early on in their lives.
But at least they are still here, alive, and as grumpy as ever.
The thylacine, also known as Tasmanian tiger or the marsupial wolf are a solitary hunter of kangaroos, which stubbornly pursued its prey to exhaustion, and certain death.
The Tasmanian tiger was hunted and massacred by the Europeans because it reminded them of the wolf, which they also almost wiped out in their own continent.
Tasmanian tiger fur became fashionable in London, for gentlemen’s waistcoats, while the last survivors of the predators of Gondwana rotted and died in cages in zoos, where, given their nocturnal habits, no one was even interested in them.
One of the many wonders of evolution was condemned without trial to extinction.
But the arrival of the white man was not the only reason for the death of the Tasmanian tigers.
Yet again, perhaps the real disaster for the marsupial wolf came three thousand years ago, with the appearance of its worst enemy: the dingo.
No one knows how they arrived in Australia, but they are true canines, descended from the Asian wolf. Their strength lies in numbers, as they hunt in packs, and give birth to large litters of pups.
Apparently, the Tasmanian tigers not only were not scavengers, but what is more, they ate only part of the animals they themselves had hunted, leaving the rest behind.
Tasmania is today the last refuge of ancient wildlife in Australia. As it is an island, the dingoes were never able to reach here; and because it is mountainous, much of the land was of no interest to the farmers.
In the depths of the jungles, you can still hear the growls of the devil that terrified the first colonists.
The Tasmanian devils, along with many other animals who sought refuge here, survive in the thick humid vegetation, hidden in the dark of the night.
His incredibly developed sense of smell has led this male here. But the body has already been found by another devil, who tries to hide it from his competitor.
When the Tasmanian devils gather around a dead body, everyone in the jungle knows what is about to happen.
They immediately begin their famous growls.
Very soon, other devils approach, from kilometres around, attracted by so much noise, and join in the feast. So, they have to eat quickly.
The fact is, Tasmania is still the house of the devil.
The secret remains hidden on this island of timid devils and ghost tigers, the final refuge of the spirit of Gondwana.