Koalas are one of the most loved little animals around the earth. Resembling a teddy bear, their gentle quiet behavior has made them a favorite of children and adults.
Interesting facts about koalas:
The Aborigine native tribe in Australia named the koala which means ‘no water’. It is based on the fact that koalas don’t drink very much, but instead get fluids from the plants that they eat.
- Australia is the only area of the world that has koalas, although some have been relocated to New Zealand, which is the island next to Australia.
- Koalas are marsupials, which means they carry their babies in the mother’s pouch.
- Koalas are considered to be a nocturnal animal and sleep for up to eighteen hours during the day. They live in trees, tucked away in nooks or forks.
- Koalas are slow moving and really don’t move around a lot, except to feed. It is believed that the reason they are so slow is due to the poor nutrition they get and the smaller size of their brains.
Koalas mostly eat eucalyptus leaves, which is where they get a majority of their water needs. If the temperatures are too high they can become dehydrated. The eucalyptus has a strong smell and koalas often carry that smell in their bodies. It is thought to be a deterrent for fleas and other pests.
- Due to the poor nutrient content of the eucalyptus, koalas need to eat an enormous amount of food every day. They consume about 1kg per day and will also store extra food in their cheek pouches.
- While Australia has hundreds of eucalyptus tree species, the koala only eats from twelve types and only consumes the leaves when they are at a particular growth stage. Due to this fact, conservationists have had to relocate groups of koalas as they have used up all of their food supply in particular areas.
- The digestive system of the koala consists of a long gut (2 m) and contains a special type of micro-organism that helps to detoxify the leaves that they eat.
Koalas are actually excellent swimmers as they are sometimes required to swim across rivers when there has been flooding in their own areas.
- A newborn baby koala is born blind and hairless and is the size of a ‘broad bean’.
- The young of a koala spends its first six months of life inside the mother’s pouch and then the next 2-3 months it will be seen clinging to its mother’s fur on the outside. It always escapes back to the pouch at night for safety.
A mother koala forms a strong bond with her baby and will carry it until it is old enough to be on its own.