Many of you know that I spend quite a bit of time seeking out Tasmanian Devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) attempting to gain suitable photographs of nocturnal devils for the Devil Task Force, the branch of the Tasmania Government assigned with the task of protecting and conserving the devil.
Whilst there is never a perfect photograph, my collection of devil photographs is slowing increasing as I spend many of my evenings in the field. I thought I’d quickly share with you one of the latest images of a night-time devil.
One aspect which is a little different is the rear leg held upright with the pad exposed. At the time when I took the photograph I didn't notice this.
ABOVE: Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii). The yawn or open mouth is NOT an aggressive threat posture, but a warning signal that either I or another devil is getting too close - it's a way for the animal to communicate “keep your distance” without entering into an actual fight.
At some stage, I'll write a post outlining how I photograph the devils at night. It isn't as straight forward as you may think and it's taken considerable time to perfect my technique using multiple flash units.
At the moment the devils are a little skittish as we are entering into the mating season. Many sexually mature female devils are deep within the confines of a den involved in other nocturnal affairs. During the breeding season, males will fight over females in an attempt to gain individual mating rights, and in an attempt to ensure their mate’s infidelity (and maintain his genetic line), keep their chosen female in custody within the den. Often you will observe a male devil literally dragging a female along with him as he leaves the den to drink or eat. Copulation is not a “do and run” deed with devils and often can take five days to complete. The reason for this lengthy period of time is that the female devil ovulates up to three times in a 21 day period. Devils are not monogamous and females may mate with several males if left unprotected, fighting off younger “lesser” males in an attempt to only allow the stronger male to reproduce with her.
Time is Always lacking...
It seems there’s always a shortage of time for everybody these days and unfortunately I’m not an exception; not as many images as I’d like to, get uploaded to the website or to stock.