Wildlife Wednesday- Koalas
Koala comes from an Aboriginal word that means 'no drink'.
The closest living relative of the koala is the wombat.
Koalas might look like bears, but they're not. They are marsupials. They have pouches just like other marsupials.
Koalas have an excellent sense of smell and hearing.
Koalas live 10-15 years in the wild.
Eucalyptus is toxic to most mammals and also extremely fibrous. Koalas have a special digestive system to help them eat the eucalyptus.
Koalas can tell which eucalyptus is more toxic than others.
Koalas are only able to digest about 25% of what they eat, this is why they eat so much
Koalas eat so many eucalyptus leaves, they smell like eucalyptus oil. It makes them smell a bit like cough drops.
Koalas get most of their water from the eucalyptus leaves they eat.
Koala have extra thick fur and a cartilaginous pad in their rounded bottoms. They also have 11 pairs of ribs instead of 13 pairs like most mammals. Combined with a reduced tail and a curved spine all these adaptations make them well suited for sitting in the forks of trees for hours.
Baby koalas are 2 cm long when they are born. They are also blind and have no fur.
Koala babies don't leave their mother's pouch for the first 6 months of their life.
Baby koalas spend the first 6-7 months of their life drinking mother’s milk. Then they eat a substance called pap, specialized droppings from their mother. The pap passes on important micro organisms from the mother's intestines that the baby needs to start digesting eucalyptus.
Unless it is breeding season, koalas usually don't visit another koala's home tree.
Koalas are usually very quiet, unless it is breeding season.
Koalas have 2 opposable fingers, like our thumbs.
Male koalas weigh up to 30 pounds, females weigh about 22.
Male koalas have a bare patch on their chest. They have a scent gland located there that they can rub against trees to mark territory.
For more animal facts, check out some of the other Wildlife Wednesday posts