KOALA not the Bear

NAME Koala
KINGDOM Animalia
CLASS Mammalia
FAMILY Phascolarctidae
GENUS Phascolarctos
ALSO KNOWN AS Koala Bears, but they are not at all related to bears
DIET Koalas are fussy eaters most nutritious and tastiest eucalyptus leaves. Adult Koala can eat 1 kg of leaves daily
HEIGHT 60 to 85 centimeters long
WEIGHT 14 Kilograms
APPEARANCE Grey fur with cream colored chest, strong clawed feet
HABITAT Eucalypt Woodlands
LOCATION Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia

This cute furry being is marsupial, which means they have pouches where their newborns develop. Infant koalas are called joey. When the Joey is born, it’s only about 2 centimeters long .As soon as it is born it immediately climbs up to its mother’s pouch. Joeys are blind and ear less, but with the help of its strong sense of touch and smell, as well as natural instinct, they are able to make their way to the pouch. Once in the pouch, it attaches itself to one of the two teats which swells in its mouth, preventing it from being dislodged from its source of food.

koala baby

A joey grows and develops in the pouch for about six months. Once strong enough, the young ones will ride on its mother’s back for another six months. The milk of mother Koala on which the young ones feed, contains a special microorganism called cecum which helps in breaking down or digesting the poisonous eucalyptus leaves. Through mother’s milk cecum are introduced to joey’s body.

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Koalas get their name form an Aboriginal term meaning, ‘no drink’. It is believed that koalas get almost all their moisture from the leaves they eat, and rarely drink water.

Koalas are mostly nocturnal which means that Koalas stay awake at night and sleep during the day. Koalas don’t have much energy and, when not feasting on leaves, they spend their time sleeping in the branches. They can sleep for up to 18 hours a day.

koala sleeping

A mature male koala has a dark scent gland in the center of his chest which releases a dark, sticky substance, which it rubs this on his trees to indicate to other Koalas that this is his territory. Koalas also communicate with each other by making a range of noises. They make loud snore like sound and then a belch, known as a ‘bellow’.

Although these beautiful creatures are protected by law, but Sadly, around 80% of koala habitat has been lost to human homes, drought and forest fires.

 

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