Facts About Koalas

With fluffy ears, round heads, and spoon-shaped noses, koalas are known for their lovable faces. But these sleepy Australian tree dwellers are full of surprises. They are often misrepresented as bears because of their bear-like appearance, but they are marsupials because they give birth to their young undeveloped. Like most Marsupials, Koalas have pouches where their kids can access milk and fully develop for about six months but unlike others, their pouch opens toward the bottom.

Unlike others, Koalas have five opposable thumbs that help them grip onto branches. They have often been termed as the world’s laziest animals because they sleep for a total of 22hours per day, spending close to 90% of their day sleeping and 10% eating. Due to their low diet and slow metabolism, koalas need to conserve their strength. Their curved spines and thick fur are what aid them to comfortably lay up on branches for so long. These cuddly critters weigh about 30 pounds and are a bit light in hand making it easier to want to hold onto them. For an animal that sleeps 22 out of 24 hours in a day, reproduction is hardly top of the list with only one koala born per year to one female.

These small mammals get their name from an Aboriginal expression signifying, ‘no water’. It’s accepted this is on the grounds that koalas get practically the entirety of their liquid from the leaves they eat, and seldom drink water. Yet, look at this – eucalyptus leaves are really intense and toxic! Fortunately for koalas, they have a long digestive-related organ called a cecum which permits them to break down the leaves safely. However, Koalas are now getting displaced by the excessive felling of trees leading to migration issues from sickness associated with stress, attacks from dogs, and even road accidents involving road users thereby bringing a decline to the species.